Penn State releases University-wide student survey on sexual misconduct

Penn State Fayette's Community Center and Fountain
Credit: Bill Hager, Penn State Fayette

LEMONT FURNACE, Pa. — Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus released the results of a survey of students’ experiences with and attitudes about sexual misconduct today (April 12), including a finding that 12.3% of students reported being the victim of at least one instance or attempt of sexual assault. The results are part of a comprehensive University-wide survey conducted last fall.

The Sexual Misconduct Climate Survey is part of an ongoing broad-based initiative by Penn State to significantly curtail sexual misconduct on all of its campuses, while at the same time expanding its efforts to provide an effective response to any cases. The survey asked students about their experiences, as well as about their attitudes, and awareness of the resources available for preventing and responding to sexual misconduct.

“The results of this survey are important in allowing Penn State Fayette to understand the current climate and to continuing our battle against sexual misconduct. Providing a safe and secure environment for our students to live and learn is our priority across the commonwealth,” said Andrea Dowhower, interim vice president for Penn State Student Affairs.

“Student feedback is an essential component of our efforts to manage the important issue of sexual misconduct on the campus,” said Charles Patrick, chancellor and chief academic officer at Penn State Fayette. “The survey results help us understand the campus climate and move forward with solid programs and policies, as well as education, to eradicate sexual misconduct on campus.”

At Penn State Fayette, 436 students received the survey, and the response rate was 24.3%. University-wide, a representative sample of 7,352 students completed the survey, including both undergraduates and graduate students. Completely anonymous, voluntary and completed electronically, the survey covered topics such as whether a student thinks the University would take a report of sexual misconduct seriously, whether the student is aware of resources available and whether they would walk a friend home who had had too much to drink.

Summaries of the findings for each of the 23 Penn State campuses where students were surveyed, including Penn State Fayette can be found online.

The survey itself was based on the Administration Researcher Campus Climate Collaborative (ARC3) survey, which was created based on suggestions from the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. Penn State’s survey was administered by the Office of Student Affairs Research and Assessment, which partnered with DatStat, a data research company the University has worked with on other survey projects.

For more information about resources to prevent and respond to sexual misconduct at Penn State Fayette, contact Amanda Collins, mental health counselor/clinical social worker, at 724-430-4122.