To The Claremont Colleges community:
This past spring semester, the five Claremont undergraduate colleges along with Keck Graduate Institute participated in the Higher Education Data Sharing (HEDS) Consortium’s Sexual Assault Campus Climate Survey. The voluntary and anonymous survey asked students about perceptions of their campus' climate for unwanted sexual contact and sexual assault, their perceptions of how their institution responds to sexual assaults, their experiences with interpersonal violence (stalking, dating and domestic violence), and whether and how often they have experienced unwanted sexual contact or sexual assault.
We express our sincere gratitude to the students who responded to the survey. This is a sensitive topic and we value your thoughts and experiences as we continue to work towards safeguarding our community.
Since the last administration of the HEDS survey, The Claremont Colleges have increased and intensified our efforts to prevent and respond to any incidence of sexual assault. New programs and updates include:
The EmPOWER Center was established to provide 7C-wide educational programs and confidential support to students impacted by sexual assault, dating/domestic violence and stalking. Last year, the EmPOWER Center revamped and relaunched 7CSupportandPrevention.com, a student-friendly website that provides extensive information about on- and off-campus resources, Title IX policies and reporting options.
The Claremont Colleges received a $750,000, three-year grant from the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women to strengthen programming that helps address sexual assault, dating/domestic violence and stalking at the 7Cs.
All 5Cs and KGI have on staff either a stand-alone Title IX Coordinator or a staff dedicated to Title IX issues.
The colleges have revised and expanded Teal Dot Bystander Engagement training and unified key training and prevention efforts across the 5Cs, including first-year orientation workshops and training for student leaders, faculty and staff.
In spring 2018, email invitations were sent to 6,014 students across the six campuses. The response rate was 25%, which is in line with the overall response rate for the 45 institutions that participated in 2018 (22%). While it is tempting to make direct comparisons between results from the colleges’ first administered HEDS survey in 2015 – the first time that the colleges administered the HEDS survey - and those in 2018, there are important reasons that prevent us from making such a comparison. Several elements of the survey instrument have been revised since 2015. There are also variations in participant response rates and respondent populations during the three-year interval that defy best practice evaluation without risking revealing the identity of one or more survey participants. As a result, the 2015 and 2018 reports are presented as two disparate snapshots. Finally, while KGI administered the survey in parallel with the five undergraduate colleges and their findings follow the same format, due to the significant differences in graduate and undergraduate student experiences, the reporting of survey findings are presented separately.
Undergraduate and graduate students engage with their campus and each other very differently, particularly at residential campuses like The Claremont Colleges. Therefore, while the reports and release of data for undergraduates and graduate students parallel one another, the findings are separate.
We write now to share the findings of the survey for undergraduates and to highlight what we see in the latest administration of the survey.
Key findings and a list of frequently asked questions are attached and include:
91% of undergraduate survey participants said they know what sexual assault is and how to recognize it; however, fewer said they (i) knew how to report it (74%), (ii) knew how to access resources for sexual assault (79%), or (iii) were familiar with procedures used by the colleges to investigate sexual assault (46%).
15% of undergraduate survey participants said they were sexually assaulted while on campus or at a college-sponsored event;
Sexual assault is more likely to occur when the judgment of those committing assault and the ability to give and interpret consent are compromised by alcohol or other substances. 64% of undergraduate survey participants who reported having been assaulted indicated that the incident involved other people drinking alcohol;
21% of student respondents who reported having been assaulted indicated that the incident involved other people using drugs and 36% of these said they were unable to provide consent or stop what was happening because they were incapacitated at the time of the assault.
The 2018 survey indicates that we still have important work to do. Each campus will release its own findings, and we are committed to responding effectively to what we learn. The findings will continue to inform our prevention and response programs moving forward.
Again, we thank the students at The Claremont Colleges who completed this survey. Because of your participation, we have gained invaluable information that will help us strengthen our community and make it safer for everyone.
Gabi Starr, President, Pomona College
Lara Tiedens, President, Scripps College
Hiram Chodosh, President, Claremont McKenna College
Maria Klawe, President, Harvey Mudd College
Melvin L. Oliver, President, Pitzer College
Sheldon Schuster, President, Keck Graduate Institute