SUNY Campus Climate Survey

In the fall of 2016, the University at Buffalo was one of five State University of New York schools to pilot the SUNY Campus Climate Survey.  All UB students, faculty and staff were invited to provide information to advise and inform our campus sexual assault prevention and response efforts.

On this page:

Participation

UB advertised the SUNY Campus Climate Survey to students and employees, and sent every UB student and employee an emailed invitation to complete the survey starting on October 17, 2016.  The survey was voluntary, and individual respondents to the survey were anonymous.

Participation Rates

  • 1,228 students participated in the student survey, comprising a four percent response rate.
  • 641 employees participated in the employee survey, comprising a twelve percent response rate.

Participant Profiles

  • 54 percent of student respondents were undergraduates and 40 percent were graduate students, with the remainder identifying as "other."
  • Approximately 74 percent of student respondents were from New York State, 8 percent were from a state within the US outside of New York, and 17 percent were from a country outside of the US.
  • 61 percent of respondents identified as female, 35 percent identified as male, 0.5 percent identified as transgender/gender-fluid, and the remainder identified as "other" or "choose not to respond."

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.

Reported Perpetration

The SUNY Campus Climate Survey asked students whether they experienced sexual misconduct in the past twelve months. 

Type of Misconduct Percentage
Stalking 8.0%
Attempted penetration without consent 6.1%
Penetration without consent 4.7%
Sexual touching without consent 12.1%

Reasons Students Did Not Report

Consistent with national data, most survey respondents who said they experienced sexual misconduct - 92% - did not report it.  The SUNY Climate Survey asked respondents to select all of the reasons they did not report.  

Reason Percentage
I didn't think it was important enough 53.8%
I just did not want to deal with it 48.7%
I didn't recognize it as sexual assault at the time 45.0%
I was concerned others would find out 20.2%
I thought I'd be blamed for what happened 19.3%
I worried it was partially my fault 18.0%
I didn't trust UB to take appropriate action 16.4%
I didn't trust police to take appropriate action 13.9%
I was worried UB would act without my permission 13.5%
I feared the person would try to hurt me again 12.2%
I was afraid I'd be punished for other things I was doing 5.9%
Someone told me not to report 2.1%

Knowledge of Reporting and Support Options

Students and employees were most familiar with the University Police Department as an avenue for reporting, and were also aware of counseling and medical services.

Resource Students Employees
University Police Department 93% 96%
Counseling Services 86% 87%
Student Health Services 88% 78%
Employee Assistance Program n/a 68%
Title IX Coordinator 50% 58%

Knowledge of Policies

76 percent of students were aware of the definition of affirmative consent.

64 percent of students were aware that they would not be disciplined for drug or alcohol use when reporting sexual misconduct, or participating as a witness to an investigation.

The Survey in Brief

  • The SUNY Campus Climate Survey was launched to provide campuses with information about the prevalence of sexual assault on campus, and will assess people's knowledge about the resources available for reporting and support.
  • Participation was voluntary and it is confidential.
  • All SUNY schools administered this survey.  
  • UB was one of five SUNY campuses that piloted the survey in the fall of 2016.  The remaining SUNY schools administered this survey in the spring of 2017.
  • The participation of our students and employees has been important to help us understand how we can improve training and resources devoted to preventing and addressing sexual assault at UB.