Campus climate survey results released for nation, Ohio State


Information gathered through survey instrument will help enhance programs for prevention, support

By: Chris Davey

Published on September 21, 2015

Columbus, Ohio – As the Association of American Universities (AAU) today released its national campus climate survey on sexual misconduct and relationship violence, The Ohio State University released its campus-specific results and reaffirmed its commitment to combating these issues.

“Campuses must be safe places to learn and grow,” said President Michael V. Drake, who last week announced Buckeyes ACT, which combines new initiatives with existing programs to serve as the university’s comprehensive plan to prevent and respond to sexual misconduct on campus.

“Ohio State’s participation in this survey offers valuable insights from our students as the university provides leadership on this national issue.”

Ohio State voluntarily committed to the take part in the AAU survey along with 26 other universities in the United States. Its involvement is part of an ongoing effort – newly organized through Buckeyes ACT (Action, Counseling, Training) – to enhance prevention and support.

Information gathered through the AAU survey includes comparable national and Ohio State percentages in a number of areas:

  • Female undergraduate student respondents who reported experiencing incidences of nonconsensual sexual contact by physical force, threats of physical force, or incapacitation: 23.1 percent nationally and 24.0 percent at Ohio State
  • Male undergraduate student respondents who reported experiencing incidences of nonconsensual sexual contact by physical force, threats of physical force, or incapacitation: 5.4 percent nationally and 5.3 percent at Ohio State
  • Female undergraduate student respondents who reported being victims of nonconsensual penetration involving force or incapacitation: 10.8 percent nationally and 10.9 percent at Ohio State
  • Female student respondents reporting forced penetration who had some prior acquaintance with each of their attackers: 69.8 percent nationally and 69.6 percent at Ohio State
  • Student respondents who believed that it was very or extremely likely that a report of sexual assault or sexual misconduct would be taken seriously by campus officials: 63.3 percent nationally and 63.6 percent at Ohio State
  • Student respondents who said it was very or extremely likely that the safety of those reporting incidents of sexual assault and sexual misconduct would be protected by university officials: 56.5 percent nationally and 55.3 percent at Ohio State

The margin of error for the above items for the Ohio State survey was 0.8 to 3.9 percent; the margin of error for the above items for the national survey was 0.2 to 2.3 percent. Nationally, AAU researchers noted the possibility of an overstated victimization rate, as there was evidence that students who did not respond to the survey were less likely to have suffered an assault.

See AAU’s Ohio State report here and data tables here. Ohio State’s response rate for the survey, administered through Westat and conducted April 6-27, was 18.1 percent. The national response rate was 19.3 percent.

“The task force formed through Buckeyes ACT will carefully review the information from the AAU survey,” said Joseph E. Steinmetz, executive vice president and provost, and task force chair. “We will continue to aggressively address these issues.”

Ohio State will continue to gather student data in this area through Buckeyes ACT, surveying students in 2016 and 2017. Buckeyes ACT also includes: mandatory sexual misconduct and relationship violence training for students in first-year orientation, the First Year Experience program and the Second-Year Transformational Experience Program; additional hiring and resources to support prevention and response efforts for students; and a university-wide task force including students, staff and faculty to identify best practices and explore innovative approaches to these issues.

Ohio State students have already taken a leadership role in committing to this issue. During a recent visit from Vice President of the United States Joe Biden as part of the national It’s On Us campaign, the university was recognized as having the most students in the Big Ten to pledge to stop sexual assault.


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Chris Davey
614-292-5962 | Email

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