FIT conducted a campus climate assessment in October 2016 to ascertain general awareness and knowledge of the provisions of New York State Law Article 129-B on sexual and interpersonal violence and knowledge of related campus policies and procedures. FIT administered the survey through the SUNY Sexual Violence Prevention Campus Climate Survey.
Students were asked questions that included their views of how the College would respond to incidents, the information that they received from the College about how to handle incidents, their knowledge of how to report different types of incidents, their personal experiences of sexual assault and other forms of sexual misconduct, and their likely actions when incidents occur. The student response rate to the survey was lower than anticipated based on past survey experience of the student population, with a response rate of approximately 2 percent. This response rate did not provide enough data to draw reliable or meaningful conclusions from the data.
Employees were asked questions about their views of how the College would respond to incidents, the information that they received from the College about how to handle incidents, their knowledge of how to assist students, and their likely actions when incidents occur. The employee response rate was higher, at about 12 percent response rate, allowing for some preliminary analysis.
Most employees agreed that the College would take reports seriously, conduct fair investigations, provide students with supports during investigation, and take steps to protect students from further harm. Most employees report that they have received information from the College on the definition of sexual assault, how to report a sexual assault, where to go to get help if someone is sexually assaulted, and the Title IX protections against sexual assault. Most employees know how to advise a student on where to get help in the case of sexual assault, but fewer report understanding what happens when students make sexual assault reports. Employees were asked about what they were likely to do when sexual assault or various types of inappropriate conduct occurred. Most employees reported that they were likely to get involved or provide assistance.
FIT will administer another climate assessment survey to students and employees during the 2018-19 academic year. When the surveys are administered again, steps will be taken to encourage higher response rates, such as increasing the sample size, exploring the possibility of providing incentives for completing the survey, increased promotional efforts (such as highlighting the survey’s importance to student leaders), and participating in discussions with SUNY on potential changes to the survey and its distribution.