Tulane Sexual Misconduct Climate Survey requires widespread student participation

Tulane conducted a Sexual Misconduct Climate Survey this year, garnering a response from 53 percent of undergraduate and 31 percent of graduate students. These numbers reflect varying community involvement, exposing Tulane’s failure to reach all students effectively.

The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network estimates that 24.1 percent of women and 5.4 percent of men will experience a form of sexual misconduct through physical means during their college careers. Such statistics have sparked national discussions on the matter. From educational and prevention workshops to the Sexual Assault Peer Hotline and Education reporting forms, Tulane has made efforts to educate about and combat sexual violent. These efforts, however, have not done enough to engage the student body.

To better gauge sexual assault culture at Tulane, the university conducted the survey from Jan. 29 through Feb.19. It aimed to examine the growth and frequency of sexual assault among undergraduate, graduate and professional students.

“Participation by all students is crucial if we are to truly understand the ways in which sexual misconduct affects our university, so it is important to hear from all students – even those who think that sexual harassment or sexual violence does not affect them personally,” the survey’s website states.

Though the intent of the survey was to reach all students, an analysis of the data clearly revealed that the goal was not met. The university also fell short of surpassing Harvard, which set the record with 53 percent participation.

While more than 58 percent of students living in residence halls responded to the survey, it was most successful with the freshman class. The dorm with the highest participation was Josephine-Louise House with 73 percent, while sophomore halls Irby and Phelps only collected a combined 50 percent. Even Sharp Hall, the lowest scoring of the freshman residence halls, reached that mark on its own.

Everyone has a role in ending rape culture, yet not all students actively engaged in the effort to change it.

In the wake of guest speaker Rafael Schincariol‘s arrest on accounts of third-degree rape, it is clear that Tulane is not an outlier in terms of sexual misconduct around college campuses. Accurate survey results are one step forward on the path toward making universities safe for all of their community members.

Members of the Tulane community have begun the work to end sexual misconduct, but results that are reflective of our school can only be obtained through the participation of all students of all genders, backgrounds and affiliations.

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