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January 24, 2024

Dear Claremont Colleges community:

During the Spring 2023 semester, the five Claremont undergraduate colleges participated in the Higher Education Data Sharing (HEDS) Consortium’s Sexual Assault Campus Climate Survey (SACCS). This voluntary and anonymous survey asked students about perceptions of their campus’ climate for unwanted sexual contact and sexual assault, their perceptions of how their institution responds to sexual assaults, their experiences with interpersonal violence (stalking, dating, and domestic violence), and whether and how often they have experienced unwanted sexual contact or sexual assault.

Below is a message from the 5C HEDS SACCS working group, comprised of members from Student Affairs, Title IX, Communications, and Institutional Research across all five participating colleges. They share the results of the survey along with two additional documents: an Actions Taken document that delineates changes across the consortium since the last administration of the HEDS survey in 2018, and an FAQ that addresses frequently asked questions. On Thursday, January 25th, at 4:30 pm, McConnell Founders Room, Pitzer will host a conversation to discuss the survey results further. 

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the students who responded to the survey. Because of your participation, we have gained invaluable information that will help us strengthen our community and make it safer for everyone.

Gabi Starr, President, Pomona College
Amy Marcus-Newhall, President, Scripps College
Hiram Chodosh, President, Claremont McKenna College
Harriet Nembhard, President, Harvey Mudd College
Strom C. Thacker, President, Pitzer College

Letter from 5C HEDS SACCS working group: 

Dear Students, Staff, and Faculty:

We are deeply thankful to the students who responded to the Higher Education Data Sharing (HEDS) Consortium’s 2023 Campus Climate Sexual Assault Survey (SACCS). We know the topic is difficult and sensitive, and we value the responses and thoughts you shared. Together, we will continue to work towards creating and maintaining a safe and supportive community.

Since the last administration of the HEDS survey in 2018, The Claremont Colleges have increased and intensified efforts to prevent and respond to any incident of sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, and stalking. Highlights include: 

  • Created and adopted a TCCS Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy. This single policy applies for all students across the 7Cs.  
  • Hired TCCS Title IX Administrator to oversee the shared Title IX Policy and ensure it is applied consistently and equitably within the consortium. 
  • Hired TCCS Title IX Investigator to provide consistency within the investigation process. 
  • Increased the types of resolution options for students (i.e., alternative resolution, restorative practices, mediation, and other options).
  • Increased Responsible Employee training for all staff to provide more information on how to support students who are impacted by sexual misconduct. 
  • Increased training and collaboration with TCCS shared services (i.e., Student Health Services, Campus Safety, Chaplains.) 
  • Collaboration between the EmPOWER Center and the Lavender Healing Collective, a collective of trauma-trained therapists, to provide student survivors with free, easy access to unlimited counseling sessions without a long wait.

In spring 2023, email invitations were sent to 6,011 students across the five undergraduate campuses. The response rate was 17%, which is in line with the overall response rate for all 74 institutions that participated in 2023 (20%). While it is tempting to make direct comparisons between results from the colleges’ previous administrations in 2015 and 2018, there are important reasons that prevent us from making such a comparison. Several elements of the survey instrument have been revised since earlier administrations. There are also variations in participant response rates and respondent populations that defy best practice evaluation without risking revealing the identity of one or more survey participants. As a result, the 2023 report is presented as a distinct snapshot.

We write now to share the findings of the survey. 5C data is available via the EmPOWER Center website where you will also find the frequently asked questions, a full list of actions taken since the last administration of the survey, and resources/contact information. In addition, this information is also located on Pitzer’s Title IX website. Key 5C findings from the 2023 administration of the survey include:

  • 94% of undergraduate survey participants said they know what sexual assault is and how to recognize it; however, fewer said they (i) knew how to report it (81%); (ii) knew how to access resources for sexual assault (81%); or (iii) were familiar with procedures used by the colleges to investigate sexual assault (58%).
  • 8% of undergraduate survey participants said they were sexually assaulted while on campus or at a college-sponsored event.
  • Of the undergraduate survey participants who reported having been sexually assaulted, 68% indicated that the incident involved other people drinking alcohol and 32% indicated that the incident involved other people using drugs.
  • 46% of survey participants who reported having been sexually assaulted indicated that they were unable to provide consent or stop what was happening because they were incapacitated in some way (e.g., drugged, drunk, passed out, or asleep) at the time of the assault.

While we are encouraged by recent results suggesting some of our actions and educational efforts have been successful, the 2023 results indicate that we still have important work to do. We are committed to responding effectively to what we have learned. The findings will continue to inform our prevention and response programs moving forward. We look forward to having additional conversations on this topic and discussing ways we can continue to improve so that all students may safely enjoy the unique and outstanding educational experiences afforded by all members of the Claremont Colleges.

Thank you,

5C HEDS SAACS working group:

Rima Shah, EmPOWER Center
Lynzie DeVeres, CMC
Dianna Graves, CMC
Nyree Gray, CMC
John Haller, CMC
Joanna Rosas, CMC
Colleen Wynn, CMC
Laura Palucki Blake, HMC
Danny Ledezma, HMC
Cynthia Martinez, HMC
Aye Htut-Rosales, HMC
Christine Guzman, Pitzer College
Leeshawn Cradoc Moore, Pitzer College
Tracy Arwari, Pomona College
Josh Eisenberg, Pomona College
Elizabeth Graham, Pomona College
Eulena Jonsson, Scripps College
Sha Bradley, Scripps College
Carolyn Robles, Scripps College
Barbara Reguengo, TCCS

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