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MMC’s 2019 Sexual Climate Survey Summary

Marymount Manhattan College (MMC) is deeply committed to combating sexual assault and misconduct on our campus. In the Spring of 2021, MMC administered its second bi-annual 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 Office. 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 2021 semester were invited to take the survey in an online format from April 5, 2021 through May 3, 2021. Overall, 145 out of 1436 students participated, resulting in a 10% response rate. Accordingly, the respondents closely reflect the student body in relation to their status for full-time/part-time, living on/off campus, class and transfer. We recognize that this is a self-selected survey, therefore, responses need to be understood with this in mind.

Survey results are below. 

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 82% and 90% 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

90%

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

89%

MMC would handle the report of sexual misconduct fairly

85%

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

82%

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

90%

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

88%

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

86%

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

49% of respondents are familiar with the resources available on-campus related to sexual assault such as counseling, health assistance, and academic assistance compared to 45% reporting familiarity with the same type of off-campus resources. Over half are knowledgeable about the role of the Title IX coordinator and other reporting processes available to them. Less than one third understand the difference between MMC’s policies and the Penal Law (New York City/State Law) related to sexual assault.

  Aware and Understand

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

49%

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

42%

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

45%

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

43%

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

35%

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

56%

 

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: 

  • 8% reported sexual assault
  • 5% reported stalking
  • 3% students reported domestic/dating violence

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 to assure anonymity.

815%, or 16, 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.

  • 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.
  • Students who reported domestic/dating violence to MMC and answered questions about where incidents took place said that they occurred off campus in non-MMC affiliated locations.
  • The top four reasons that respondents reported sexual misconduct incidents are the following:
    • To feel safe
    • To take some control over the situation
    • To get emotional support
    • To not feel like a victim

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% used resources such as counseling, health and/or academic assistance
  • 8% contacted the Title IX Coordinator
  • 4% 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 (100%)
  • Students should learn what to do to help stop a sexual assault (100%)
  • Doing something about sexual assault is not solely the job of the College; it includes students (69%)
     

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. (71%)
  • Person had too much to drink (54%)
  • Person looked very upset in a social situation (41%)

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

  • Spoke up against a person telling jokes related to gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc. (67%)
  • Helped a friend that had too much to drink get home (46%)
  • Asked someone who looked very upset if they were OK or needed help (38%)

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 that most sexual assault incidents involving MMC students take place off campus. The College will continue to look 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 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 continue in addition to support for student-initiated efforts to bring awareness to sexual assault risk factors.


For questions related to this survey, please contact:
Desiree Sholes
Executive Coordinator and Title IX Coordinator
212-517-0560
dsholes@mmm.edu

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