The Office of the Dean of Students sent out a “Campus Climate Sexual Assault Survey” on Jan. 24, asking students about their experiences, or lack thereof, with sexual assault. The survey included questions asking students whether their partner had ever “threatened [them] with a knife, gun, or other weapon” and whether they themselves had ever committed or attempted to commit sexual assault.
Dean of Students Will Johnson responded via email to questions brought up by the Campus Climate survey.
He confirmed that, despite the detailed nature of the questions and the original email stating that every survey link was individual to a student, survey responses will remain confidential and are not attached to a student’s NetID.
Additionally, Johnson stated that, “Following guidance provided by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Civil Rights and Office on Violence Against women, we will not release the number or names of students who responded “yes” to being sexually assaulted or having sexually assaulted (or having attempted to do so) someone.”
For the statistics on number of reported crimes, individuals may refer to Fairfield University’s Jeanne Clery reports. Jeanne Clery reports are required by the federal Clery Act, which “requires all colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs to keep and disclose information about crime on and near their respective campuses.”
The University’s 2018 Clery report states that there were six sexual offenses, one incident of dating violence, and zero instances of stalking or domestic violence reported to the Department of Public Safety in 2018. However, in 2014 the Department of Justice found that only 20 percent of campus sexual assaults are reported, meaning that the actual number of sexual offenses could be significantly higher than six. Since the number of students who admitted to having experienced or committed sexual assault will not be released, the Clery report will remain the only public data on this matter regardless of results.
Johnson stated that, “The [Campus Climate survey] data is collected by the Office of the Dean of Students with the assistance of the Office of Institutional Research. The data will be used to examine the prevalence of and student perceptions with respect to sexual misconduct on our campus.”
These offices will, according to Johnson, use the data to “evaluate any trends by comparing this year’s results against those from the previous administration of the survey just over two years ago.”
Johnson explained that after the data is reviewed, the results will be shared with the University community. However, this is unlikely to happen until later in Spring 2019 or early in Fall 2019.
“In general,” Johnson said, “the survey results will help us to evaluate our current training requirements, programs, and initiatives. The information will help us to identify any gaps and needs moving forward.”