The Collegian received 1,004 University of Richmond undergraduate student responses – 34 percent of the student body – to its Spring 2015 Campus Attitudes on Sexual Assault survey. 621 of those started surveys were completed, and the response rates to individual questions varied significantly. The following represents the most pertinent results corresponding to questions asked in the survey. For press inquiries, please email collegianpress@gmail.com.


Response Rate Invited   Responding     % Responding
Undergraduate Female    1563 649 42%
Undergraduate Male 1420 355 25%
Total 2983 1004 34%


In this analysis, data are generally provided by gender (male, female). Data for students who identified as transgender or other genders are not provided in order to protect the privacy of the small sample size.

(Related: The Campus Attitudes on Sexual Assault survey's complete results can be found here.)

Experiences

Participants were asked about their experiences with unwanted sexual behaviors. These questions included commonly used terms, and did not define these terms (except for “sexual harassment,” which was defined with a hover text explanation). Respondents were allowed to interpret the other terms individually. Overall, 14.9% of respondents indicated being sexually harassed, 9.4% being sexually assaulted, and 4.6% being raped.

Respondents indicating that they had experienced each of the following while at the University of Richmond:

Female

Male

%

Number

Total

%

Number

Total

Been stalked, followed, or received repeated unwanted messages, texts, emails, etc. from someone that made him or her uncomfortable

15.2%

78

512

5.3%

13

243

Been in a relationship that was controlling or abusive (physically, sexually, psychologically, emotionally, or financially)

6.5%

33

509

4.3%

11

244

Been sexually harassed (Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal conduct of a sexual nature…or if conduct creates a hostile environment)

18.6%

94

505

6.6%

16

242

Been sexually assaulted

12.6%

64

509

2.5%

6

243

Been raped

5.9%

30

506

1.7%

4

242


More than half the females who responded answered that they have experienced some sort of unwanted sexual behaviors while at the University of Richmond. Close to 7 in 10 (69%) of respondents who indicated they had an unwanted sexual experience at University of Richmond told someone else about the incident(s), but fewer than 4% reported the experience(s) to someone in an official capacity.

Methodology

The Collegian based its survey off of Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s 2014 Community Attitudes on Sexual Assault survey. The Collegian received permission from MIT’s Institutional Research Office of the Provost to use MIT’s survey as a model. The wording in the questions has only been changed to localize the survey to Richmond (ex. replace MIT with Richmond).

Richmond College senior and Collegian contributor Charles Durkin built The Collegian’s survey using Qualtrics. After staff members tested the survey, we used a printed version of University of Richmond’s student directory to manually generate a list of every undergraduate student attending University of Richmond.

Once the staff compiled a list of all undergraduate students, we emailed a link to students and allowed survey responses to populate for nine days. Our original email sent to students can be read below:

Email Invitation from The Collegian

Subject: 2015 Campus Attitudes on Sexual Assault

Date: February 26, 2015

The Collegian is asking all undergraduate students to answer a brief survey. The purpose of this study is to collect data from current undergraduate students on the social and cultural climate of the University of Richmond.

This survey should take most students 10-15 minutes to complete. This survey is completely ANONYMOUS and VOLUNTARY, and the results will NOT be part of any academic, medical or disciplinary record. The Collegian will use the data from this survey to publish statistical information regarding our campus climate.

The survey deadline is Friday, March 6 at 11:59 p.m.

Further Discussion

The University of Richmond student government associations will host a town hall forum to feature the updated version of the sexual conduct policy on Wednesday, March 25, from 7-8 p.m. in the Gottwald Auditorium that anyone can attend. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Education will be on campus to host student-only focus groups to discuss sexual and gender harassment, sexual violence, and sexual misconduct Tuesday, March 31.

Conclusion

The Collegian has no evidence that the data revealed by this survey reflects the sexual climate at University of Richmond in its entirety, nor does The Collegian have a basis to determine the state of sexual misconduct at University of Richmond based on this information. Instead, we hope to allow for individual interpretation by publishing these results.