IUPUI Campus Climate Survey Results

As part of Indiana University’s ongoing and comprehensive commitment to effectively addressing the issue of sexual assault, IU distributed a climate survey on sexual assault and sexual misconduct to all students on Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) campus in March 2016.

IUPUI’s Community Attitudes and Experiences with Sexual Assault and Misconduct Survey asked students about their attitudes, perceptions, and direct experiences with sexual assault, as well as their opinions on university resources and practices related to preventing and dealing with instances of sexual misconduct.

The results set forth in the full report were compiled from the 5,300 students (“participants”) who completed at least 50 percent of the survey, were age 18 or older, and did not self-identify as something other than male or female. This total represents approximately 21 percent of the total student population on the campus, excluding School of Medicine students. In nominal terms, 74 percent of the survey participants whose answers are reported here were undergraduates and 26 percent were graduate students; 62 percent were women and 38 percent were men. For the purposes of these findings, Robert H. McKinney School of Law students and School of Dentistry students are categorized as graduate students.

A few of the key findings are set forth below. The complete data and summary of key findings can be found in the full report. It should be noted that, as with any voluntary study, the data collected and set forth in the report is reflective only of the participants who responded and participated in the survey. Response bias is expected, given the sensitive nature of the topic and the specific focus on sexual violence. The data cannot therefore be understood to be a complete representation of the experiences of undergraduate and graduate students at IUPUI. Regardless, we look to this data, and the responses shared by the participants, as important to our understanding of experiences and perceptions.

The information shared by participants will continue to be used to inform the work conducted through the university-wide Student Welfare Initiative and the IUPUI campus.

Key Findings

  • Instances of sexual misconduct reported by participants prior to coming to IUPUI exceeds, in every case, those experienced by participants since coming to IUPUI.

  • Since coming to IUPUI, 5 percent of undergraduate women participants reported experiencing attempted or completed nonconsensual sexual penetration while at IUPUI. This tracks much lower than the most-cited study indicating that 1 in 5 women experience attempted or completed rape during their collegiate experience (Fisher et al., 2000).

  • Undergraduate women participants who indicated experiencing nonconsensual sexual touching or attempted or completed nonconsensual sexual penetration most often cited experiencing being unable to consent or not giving affirmative consent verbally or otherwise in connection with the incident.

  • Participants reported that the majority of these incidents occur off campus, with “your own or other residence, off campus” receiving the highest rates from undergraduate men and women participants as well as from graduate women participants.

  • Undergraduate participants, as well as graduate women participants, most often reported that the incident negatively affected their romantic/intimate relationships and their mental/emotional health. Undergraduate women reported the highest rates of negative impact on mental and emotional health, with 59 percent. Undergraduate participants reported higher rates of the incident negatively affecting their academic performance than graduate women (UM 33%; UW 28%; GW 20%).

  • The majority of participants reported that they told friends about the incident. Regardless of who the participants told about the incident, the majority reported that they received a response that made them feel supported.

  • Participants reported similar numbers to national research with respect to whether the person who committed the sexual misconduct was a “Stranger (Someone you had never met or seen before).”

  • Among undergraduate women participants who did not tell anyone about the incident, 52 percent responded that they felt it was a private matter they wanted to deal with on their own, and 53 percent said they did not think what happened was “serious enough to disclose to others.”

  • Roughly 40 percent of students indicated that they did not consider the matter serious enough to report. A similar percentage of students stated they did not report the matter because they perceived it to have no connection to the campus.

  • Of those who reported the incident to someone, the likelihood they were to report to “someone at IUPUI” varied by gender, with undergraduate men being the least likely to report to anyone on campus (UM 9%; UW 18%; GW 26%).

  • Participants across all genders and levels in school reported higher rates of feeling safe on the IUPUI campus than in the area surrounding campus.

  • The vast majority of participants reported feeling that the university would likely take a report seriously, as well as take steps to protect the safety of the person making the report. Additionally, participants indicated high rates of feeling that other students at IUPUI would likely support a person making a report.

  • The majority of undergraduate participants reported that they had completed an online educational program about sexual misconduct and bystander intervention (such as Haven) and/or attended new student orientation programming that included information about sexual misconduct.

  • Most participants reported that they had talked to a romantic/sexual partner and/or friends about the issue of consent.

  • Undergraduate and graduate participants reported high rates of agreement that the more alcohol a person has consumed, the less able they are to consent to sexual activity.

  • Women participants reported higher rates of agreement that sexual misconduct is a problem on the IUPUI campus (UM 14%; UW 22%; GM 14%; GW 15%). Between 47 percent and 49 percent of all participants felt that they could do something about sexual misconduct.

  • Among participants who indicated that they had witnessed a situation they believed was, or could have led to, a sexual assault, participants most often reported that they asked the person who appeared to be at risk if they needed help (UM 49%; UW 51%; GM 47%; GW 48%).

  • Participants across all genders and class levels reported high levels of confidence to express discomfort when someone says that rape victims are to blame for being raped, and that they would help someone under the influence of alcohol or drugs get away from a potentially vulnerable situation to a safe place.

View the full report

Please contact titleix@iu.edu or call 812-855-4889 if an accessible alternative of the report is needed.