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7C HEDS Survey Results on Sexual Assault and Campus Climate

To the members of The Claremont Colleges community:

The Claremont Colleges have joined together in strong efforts to prevent and respond to any incidence of sexual assault. We have worked closely with our Title IX coordinators; developed practices for managing intercampus cases; implemented shared training and Teal Dot bystander education programs; partnered with Project Sister to increase access to confidential counseling; created a unified website with comprehensive information regarding sexual violence (including intimate partner violence and stalking); enhanced support resources and information on policies and procedures at each institution; improved our collaboration in cross-campus cases; and founded the EmPOWER Center, a 7C-initiative focused on the prevention of sexual violence and the support of survivors, which hired its inaugural director this fall and will open in January.

As an important empirical foundation for our ongoing efforts to address this critical problem, the Claremont colleges were among 57 institutions to administer the Higher Education Data Sharing (HEDS) Consortium’s Sexual Assault Campus Climate Survey last semester.

The survey asked students about perceptions of their campus’s climate for unwanted sexual contact and sexual assault, their perceptions of how their institution responds to sexual assaults, and whether and how often they have experienced unwanted sexual contact or sexual assault. Approximately 8,000 Claremont students were surveyed; the response rate was 31%.

We write now to share the results of the survey and to highlight what we learned.

7C HEDS Data 
Key findings and a list of frequently asked questions are attached and include:

  • 7.2% of all respondents (8.9% of undergrad respondents) said they were sexually assaulted while on campus or at a college-sponsored event;
  • Sexual assault is more likely to occur when judgment of those committing assault and the ability to give and interpret consent are compromised by alcohol and other substances. Of those students who reported an assault, they observed that 74.4% of those who assaulted them had been drinking and 19.9% were using drugs and more than 40% said they had been unable to provide consent or stop what was happening because they were incapacitated at the time of the assault);
  • 74.8% of 7C respondents (85.6% of undergrad respondents) said they know what sexual assault is and how to recognize it; however, fewer said they (i) knew how to report it (55%-7C/59.5%-undergrads), (ii) knew how to access resources for sexual assault (53.2%-7C/59.4%-undergrads), or (iii) were familiar with procedures used by the colleges to investigate sexual assault (33.7%-7C/37.7%-undergrads).

These results indicate that we still have much important work to do. Each campus will be releasing its own data, and we are committed to respond effectively to what we have learned. The data will inform our Claremont College prevention and response programs moving forward.
We thank the many 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. 
The Council of Presidents of The Claremont Colleges

David Oxtoby, President, Pomona College
Robert Schult, President, Claremont Graduate University
Amy Marcus-Newhall, Interim President, Scripps College
Hiram Chodosh, President, Claremont McKenna College
Maria Klawe, President, Harvey Mudd College
Thomas Poon, Interim President, Pitzer College
Sheldon Schuster, President, Keck Graduate Institute