2017 Social Climate Survey
November 2, 2017
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:
Today, we are releasing the results of Baylor University’s student-based 2017 Social Climate Survey from the Spring 2017 semester. The study, which focused on harassment, stalking, dating and sexual violence, and overall campus climate, provides a deeper view into the perceptions and experiences of Baylor students affected by those issues. I wanted to take this opportunity to share several key results from the survey with not only students, but our entire campus community:
- When it comes to overall campus safety, a significant majority of Baylor students feel safe. When asked about feelings of safety on or around campus, 76 percent or 2,362 of respondents strongly agreed or agreed that they feel safe from sexual harassment. Meanwhile, 11 percent of respondents strongly disagreed or disagreed that they feel safe from sexual harassment and another 13 percent were neutral on the issue. Additionally, 77 percent or 2,401 strongly agreed or agreed that they feel safe from sexual violence. Eleven percent of respondents strongly disagreed or disagreed that they feel safe from sexual violence and another 12 percent were neutral.
- An overwhelming majority of Baylor students understand the concept of consent, which is paramount to preventing interpersonal violence. According to survey results, 93 percent or 2,909 respondents strongly agreed or agreed that consent must be given at each step in a sexual encounter.
- Many Baylor students believe that the University is fostering an open environment where interpersonal violence can be discussed freely. When asked how Baylor University did/would play a role in their experiences, 72 percent or 768 of respondents who indicated they experienced sexual harassment, stalking, domestic violence, or sexual violence agreed that the University did/would create an environment where this type of experience was safe to discuss. Inversely, nearly 30 percent did not feel that the University did/would create an environment where these types of abuses could be discussed.
- Finally, our ongoing training and educational efforts are making a difference, as 73 percent of respondents strongly agreed or agreed that if they experienced sexual misconduct, they would know where to go for help on campus.
While many of the responses demonstrate significant progress and provide hope for our campus community, others have shown that more assistance, training and resources are needed as part of our ongoing commitment to continuous improvement. For example, the survey found that 31 percent of respondents indicated that they have experienced harassment in the form of sexist gender harassment and another 11 percent said they experienced crude gender harassment by a faculty member, instructor or staff member. This study emphasizes that while we have made significant progress, there is still more work to be done regarding this important issue. The survey results are available in their entirety online.
When I accepted the position as Baylor’s President, I vowed to continue the progress the University began in 2016 in implementing the 105 recommendations to address sexual and interpersonal violence within our campus community. With the recent completion of these 105 recommendations, we remain steadfast in our aim to be a model for the prevention of and response to sexual violence. My commitment to improve our campus culture and foster a caring Christian community is unwavering.
This study also underscores the need to continue assisting those who have experienced hurt and trauma. Please pray for all those affected by sexual assault and interpersonal violence. We should always extend our support, love, care and concern to survivors. Let us surround them with the love of Christ.
Should you or anyone you know experience harassment, stalking, dating violence or sexual violence, please seek help from the various resources available on campus. The Title IX Office, Counseling Center, Baylor University Police Department and University Chaplain are all equipped and able to help.
I would like to thank the 4,523 students from all Baylor campuses who provided their valuable input. It is through your participation that we are better able to understand and be aware of what you are experiencing as we continue working toward eliminating such incidents within the Baylor community. It’s truly on us to intervene and act to address the scourge of sexual violence within our society.
As we move forward, please know that the safety of our faculty, staff and especially students will always be our priority. We will use the results of this survey to inform our future educational, training and prevention programs, as we continue to provide a safe and secure educational environment for our campus community. We pledge to never tire in our efforts.
Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.