Climate Survey

Consistent with New York State Education Law 129-B and policies of The State University of New York (SUNY), the Fashion Institute of Technology participated in the 2023 biennial SUNY Sexual Violence Prevalence (SVP) Campus Climate Survey. The SVP survey, developed by SUNY, is administered every other year by all SUNY campuses and has been conducted three times at FIT since its inception in 2019. 

This survey was administered to students and employees and gathers information about their experience with sexual and interpersonal violence and their knowledge of policies and resources. Specifically: 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 a set time period (for example, the last two years);  bystander attitudes and behavior; whether victims/survivors reported to the College/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.

The survey was sent to 7,888 students and 1,559 employees, opening on April 11, 2023 and closing on May 1st. 200 students and 406 employees responded to the survey, for response rates of 3% and 26%, respectively.  Across SUNY institutions, student response rates ranged from 2% to 20% and employee response rates ranged from 8% to 50%. Of employee responses at FIT, 58% were from faculty and 42% were from staff and administrators.  At FIT, response rates for students has varied, from 7% in 2019 to 18% in 2021 back down to 3%. Employee response rates have held steady, dipping from 26% in 2019 to 22% in 2021 then back to 26% this year.

Results indicate that students are somewhat aware of the policies and laws, and of the available resources at FIT, and in some areas to a lesser degree than students enrolled at other SUNY institutions:

  • 16% of students know how to contact the Title IX Coordinator, similar to 2021 (17%)
    • Compared to SUNY students, FIT students are less aware of how to contact the Title IX Coordinator (30% at SUNY community colleges and 37% at all SUNY campuses)
  • The public safety, counseling center and health center were the most recognized campus offices to file a formal complaint about sexual assault
  • 62% of students do not know how to report any kind of sexual and interpersonal violence (incidents of sexual assault, sexual harassment, domestic/dating violence, and stalking),a rise since 54% in 2021
    • Compared to SUNY students, FIT students are less aware of how to report an incident (47% at SUNY community colleges and 40% at all SUNY campuses)
  • 34% of students reported experiencing unwanted sexual comment, an increase since 2021 (24%) and higher than at SUNY community colleges and SUNY overall
  • 12% of students reported experiencing sexual assault in the last year, up from 6% in 2021 and a higher rate compared to students at other SUNY institutions
    • While 55% of students reported telling someone about the incident, significantly higher share than compared to SUNY students, those who did not report thinking it was not important enough, not wanting to deal with it, or not recognizing it as sexual assault
  • Of the students who disclosed experiencing an incident, 11% of students changed their academic schedule or housing as a result

Results indicate that employees are generally aware of the policies and laws, and of the available resources at FIT, often meeting or exceeding knowledge rates of employees of other SUNY institutions:

  • 93% of employees are aware of FIT’s policies and procedures addressing sexual assault, with knowledge rates increasing the longer the time employed at FIT
  • 78% of employees know how to contact the Title IX Coordinator, compared to 73% of SUNY overall
  • The share of employees that had students disclose to them that they were a victim of an unwanted sexual experience increased from 3% in 2021 to 8%, a similar disclosure rate to SUNY community college and overall (9%)
    • Faculty experienced a larger rate of disclosures (10% of faculty and 5% of staff)
    • The Title IX Coordinator was the office of choice in which faculty and staff disclosed the most recent incident
  • An equal share of male and female employees (7% each) experienced unwanted sexual comments during the past year, with 73% of these experiences occurring on campus.

These results are being reviewed on campus and will be used to inform our sexual violence prevention and response efforts to provide a safe educational environment for all. The next survey will be administered in Spring of 2025. More information about the SUNY survey instrument is available on SUNY’s website. For more information about FIT’s results and their use, and our resources for students and employees, please contact Deliwe Kekana, at [email protected].