The Claremont Colleges released the results of last spring’s Higher Education Data Sharing Consortium (HEDS) Sexual Assault and Campus Climate Survey on Thursday, Nov. 5. In total, 2475 students from the 7Cs responded to the survey. The document released to students cautions that the data “do not necessarily represent generalizations about the entire Claremont Colleges community” because of self-selection, but the results comprise the most comprehensive information on 7C sexual assault compiled to date.
TSL examined the aggregate results from the consortium as well as school-specific results from Pomona College, Claremont McKenna College, Pitzer College, Scripps College, and Harvey Mudd College.
Across the 7Cs, 7.2 percent of students surveyed indicated that they had been sexually assaulted. Another 3.9 percent suspected that they had been sexually assaulted. The students reporting the highest incidence of sexual assault were those who identified as “other than heterosexual.” Of those respondents, 12.3 percent had been sexually assaulted and a further five percent suspected they had been.
At Pomona, CMC, Pitzer, Scripps and Harvey Mudd this trend held true: Non-heterosexual respondents reported definite or suspected sexual assaults at rates up to twice as high as those reported by heterosexual students.
Most sexual assaults, the survey found, involved alcohol. The highest rate of alcohol involvement was at CMC, where 100 percent of students who said they had been sexually assaulted reported that the incident involved “other people drinking alcohol” and 81 percent said they had themselves been drinking. For the consortium as a whole, 73.7 percent of assaults involved others drinking alcohol, and 64.2 percent of survivors stated they had consumed alcohol.
Few students indicated that they had notified their school’s Title IX coordinator of a sexual assault. The rate was lowest at Pitzer, where only 2.4 percent of respondents acknowledging a sexual assault had notified their Title IX coordinator or deputy coordinator. In contrast, the highest rate of notifying a Title IX coordinator was 22.2 percent at Harvey Mudd. The rate for the 7Cs was 12.8 percent.
Approximately 60 percent of all assaults reported to the survey took place in a residential hall on the student’s own campus. Scripps was the exception: 62.9 percent of sexual assaults reported by Scripps respondents occurred on another campus.
Consortium-wide, 76 percent of assaults reported to the survey occurred during the student’s first or second year at college, and 84.4 percent of assailants were known by the survivor—as friends, hook-up partners or current or former romantic partners. No students reported assault by a faculty member.
TSL will be speaking with administrators and students about these findings during the coming week. The findings from the individual undergraduate colleges, as well as the aggregate data from the consortium as a whole, can be viewed here.
This article was updated Nov. 9 to reflect the fact that Harvey Mudd College did publish school-specific results online before Thursday night, and that the highest rate of respondents indicating they had notified their Title IX coordinator of a sexual assault was at Harvey Mudd College, not Scripps College. TSL regrets these errors.