SUNY Campus Climate Survey

In the spring of 2019, the University at Buffalo administered the SUNY Campus Climate Survey asking UB students, faculty and staff to provide information in order to inform our campus sexual assault prevention and response efforts. 

On this page:

Areas of Inquiry

The SUNY Campus Climate Survey included questions in the following areas:

  • The Title IX Coordinator’s role;
  • Campus policies and procedures addressing sexual assault;
  • How and where to report sexual violence as a victim/survivor or witness;
  • The availability of resources on and off campus, such as counseling, health, academic assistance;
  • The prevalence of victimization and perpetration of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking on and off-campus during the past twelve months;
  • Bystander attitudes and behavior;
  • Whether victims/survivors reported to the university and/or police, and reasons why they did or did not report;
  • The general awareness of the difference, if any, between the institution’s policies and the penal law; and
  • The general awareness of the definition of affirmative consent.

Participation Data

6,816 faculty and staff members were invited to take the survey, and 1,763 responded to at least one question in the survey (25.8%)

26,973 undergraduate and graduate students were invited to take the survey. 1,200 students responded to at least one question in the survey (3.2% response rate).

  • 77% of respondents were residents of New York State, 20% were international, and 3% were residents of a US state other than New York.
  • 33% lived on campus, and 67% lived off campus.
  • 63% were undergraduate students, and 37% were graduate or professional students
  • Gender identity was reported as follows:  58% - female, 38% - male, 1.5% - genderqueer/gender-fluid, 0.35% - trans male, 0.35% - questioning or unsure, 1% - Prefer not to respond
  • Sexual orientation was reported as follows:  82% - heterosexual, 7% - bisexual, 2.3% - gay, 2% - prefer not to respond, 1.7% - lesbian, 1.5% - pansexual, 1.3% - queer, 1% - questioning or unsure, 0.9% - asexual, 0.4% - other

Prevalence Rates

In the past year, students reported the following:

  • 21.5% experienced unwanted sexual comments, sexual slurs, or demeaning jokes
  • 14.7% received unwanted sexually suggested digital communications, including emails, texts, and social media communications
  • 2.7% experienced someone viewing their sexual activity or nakedness without their consent, or taking explicit pictures or recordings of them without their consent
  • 5.5% had someone fondle, kiss, or rub up against the private areas of their body without consent
  • 1.7% experienced someone performing oral sex or forcing them to perform oral sex without their consent
  • 5.4% reported that someone - either a stranger, acquaintance, friend, current partner, or ex-partner - repeatedly followed them, wathced them, texted, called, wrote, emailed, or communicated with them in ways that seemed obsessive and made them concerned for their safety.

Awareness of Reporting and Support Resources

The majority of students, faculty and staff reported being aware of UB policies and avenues for reporting and support.
  • 82% of students and 81% of faculty and staff reported being aware of the definition of affirmative consent.
  • 86% of students and 89% of faculty and staff were aware of campus policies and procedures specifically addressing sexual assault.
  • 65% of students and 70% of employees recalled having received information about where to go if they or someone they know is sexually assaulted.
  • Students were widely aware of University Police (69%), Counseling Services (63%), and Student Health Services (61%).  Fewer percentages of students reported being aware of Student Conduct and Advocacy (32.7%) or the campus Title IX Coordinator (20.6%).

Action Items

The SUNY Campus Climate Survey presents several avenues for enhancing our current reporting and response efforts:

  • The student response rate to the survey was low.  Unfortunately, the survey was administered in or around the same timeframe as UB's Campus Culture Survey and the National College Health Assessment.  We will be enhancing coordination with SUNY to avoid survey fatigue and to promote student participation.
  • While UB provides training and education to all incoming students in sexual violence prevention, there are opportunities to enhance training about Title IX reporting options, and specifically the role of UB's Title IX Coordinator.   
  • Students reported a higher level of knowledge about how to report sexual assault and sexual harassment than they did stalking, domestic violence, or dating violence.  This may be because sexual assault and sexual harassment receive a stronger emphasis in national media about Title IX.  We can further emphasize stalking, domestic violence, and dating violence as violations that students and employees can report.