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MMC’s 2017 Sexual Climate Survey Summary

Marymount Manhattan College (MMC) is deeply committed to combating sexual assault and misconduct on our campus. In the Spring of 2017, MMC administered its first comprehensive climate survey of students on sexual assault and misconduct in accordance with New York State’s “Enough is Enough” legislation, which is aimed at combating sexual assault on college and university campuses in New York. 

The survey was designed and administered by MMC’s Office of Institutional Research & Planning and the Title IX Committee. It examined student knowledge and experience of sexual conduct, safety, and related campus policies and resources. Topics covered include student attitudes about sexual conduct, bystander behavior, college policies related to sexual misconduct, and the students’ personal experiences when reporting sexual misconduct incidences.

All students aged 18 or older and enrolled at MMC in part-time or full-time undergraduate programs during the Spring 2017 semester were invited to take the survey in an online format from March 13, 2017 through April 7, 2017. Overall, 260 out of 1787 students participated, resulting in a 15% response rate. This exceeded our goal by 5%. Accordingly, the respondents reflect the student body in relation to their status for full-time/part-time, living on/off campus, degree/non-degree, class and transfer. While participation rates exceeded our expectations, we recognize that this is a self-selected survey.  The responses need to be understood with this in mind.

Survey results are below. To view these results in pdf form, please download here.

 

Campus Sexual Climate Survey Results

 

I. Student Perception: MMC Handling Reports of Sexual Misconduct

According to the survey, students feel that the College would be supportive in relation to sexual misconduct reporting. Between 81% and 93% of respondents agree with the following statements about how MMC would handle student-reported incidents of sexual misconduct. 

 

Strongly/
Somewhat Agree

MMC would be supportive of the student making the sexual misconduct report

93%

MMC would take steps to protect the safety of the student reporting the sexual misconduct

92%

MMC would handle the report of sexual misconduct fairly

90%

MMC would take action to lessen the likelihood of sexual misconduct occurring

90%

MMC would maintain the privacy of a student reporting an incident of sexual misconduct

89%

MMC would do its best to honor the request of the student as to whether or not to investigate the sexual misconduct incident

86%

MMC would provide accommodations to help the student reporting the sexual misconduct (e.g. academic, housing, safety)

81%

 

II. Student Awareness of Resources and Reporting Processes Related to Sexual Misconduct

Almost 60% of respondents are familiar with the resources available on campus related to sexual assault such as counseling, health assistance, and academic assistance. Less than half are knowledgeable about other resources and reporting processes available to them.  Less than one third understand the role of the Title IX Coordinator. 

 

Aware and Understand

The term ‘Affirmative Consent’

72%

Resources ON campus related to sexual assault such as counseling, health, and academic assistance

59%

How/where to report sexual assault as a victim, survivor or witness

46%

Resources OFF campus related to sexual assault such as counseling, health, and academic assistance

43%

How/where to report domestic/dating violence as a victim, survivor, or witness

42%

How/were to report stalking as a victim, survivor, or witness

34%

The difference between MMC’s policies and the Penal Law (New York City/State Law) related to sexual assault

30%

Title IX Coordinator’s role at MMC

28%

 

III. Reporting Sexual Misconduct as a victim, survivor, or witness at MMC

When respondents were asked about reporting sexual misconduct as a victim, survivor, or witness over the past year to someone at MMC: 

  • 7% reported sexual assault
  • 5% reported stalking
  • Fewer than 10 students reported domestic/dating violence*

*MMC does not report on fewer than 10 respondents reporting sexual misconduct to assure anonymity

Because the number reporting sexual assault, stalking, and domestic/dating violence is small, the three groups were combined to describe some of what they experienced.

9.2%, or 24, of those who responded to the survey reported to someone at MMC that they had experienced at least one incident of sexual assault, stalking, or domestic/dating violence in the past year.

  • Approximately half of respondents reported that alcohol was involved just prior to an incident.
  • The majority of students who reported sexual misconduct to MMC and answered questions about where incidents took place said that they occurred off campus in non-MMC affiliated locations.
  • The top three reasons that respondents reported sexual misconduct incidents are the following:
    • To feel safe
    • To take some control over the situation
    • To get emotional support


IV. Use of MMC Resources for Sexual Misconduct as a victim, survivor, or witness

In relation to the MMC sources of support or aid available to victims, survivors, or witnesses of sexual misconduct, respondents did the following in the past year:

  • 15% sought sexual assault resources such as counseling, health and/or academic assistance
  • 10% contacted the Title IX Coordinator
  • 7% used the College’s policies and procedures for addressing or reporting sexual assault

 

V. Student Attitudes toward Campus Sexual Climate at MMC

The vast majority of survey respondents agree that students share responsibility for helping to address sexual assault at the college: 

  • Students should learn how to identify when a sexual assault is taking place (98%)
  • Students should learn what to do to help stop a sexual assault (96%)
  • Doing something about sexual assault is not solely the job of the College; it includes students (86%)
     

VI. Bystander Occurrences and Behavior

The three most common occurrences observed by survey respondents acting as bystanders in the past year are:

  • Someone telling jokes related to gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc. (83%)
  • Person had too much to drink (79%)
  • Person looked very upset in a social situation (59%)

In the past year, survey respondents who identified as bystanders most often intervened by doing the following: 

  • Asked someone who looked very upset if they were OK or needed help (81%)
  • Spoke up against a person telling jokes related to gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc. (77%)
  • Helped a friend that had too much to drink get home (75%)

 

Conclusion and Action Steps

The survey findings show that MMC must continue its efforts to educate students about the College’s sexual misconduct process and resources. Less than half of the students who participated in the survey reported an awareness and understanding of the resources and reporting processes available to them. Although MMC provides this information during new student orientation and as part of online sexual misconduct training, the results indicate that the College must find ways to reinforce this message during the course of the academic year.

The findings also confirm what was already known about the MMC campus community: first, that most sexual assault incidents involving MMC students take place off campus; and, second, that alcohol is commonly associated with sexual assault incidents. The College will target these areas in the upcoming academic year by providing more information to students about these risk factors and looking for more creative and engaging ways to bring this information to students’ attention.

Finally, the survey results show that MMC students are active bystanders and that the vast majority agree that there is a shared responsibility for helping to address sexual assault at MMC.   Students are the College’s best resource. Accordingly, peer-led programming and education will be increased, and more support will be provided for student-initiated efforts to bring awareness to sexual assault risk factors.

To download these survey results as a pdf, please click here.


For questions related to this survey, please contact:
Christine Gregory
Assistant Vice President for Strategic Initiatives, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, and Title IX Coordinator
212-517-0562
cgregory@mmm.edu