By Leigh Roberts | March 27, 2023
Photo credit: Flickr
Starting the week of March 27, students at the University at Albany will have the opportunity to participate in an anonymous Campus Climate Survey that will be shared with the student body by email. The purpose of the survey is to gather feedback from students about experiences with sexual misconduct and discrimination that fall under Title IX.
An email sent out last Tuesday, March 21, by the Office of Equity and Compliance (OEC) encourages students to participate in the survey.
“By participating in the anonymous survey, you will provide critical insights about sexual and interpersonal violence on the University’s three campuses,” the email reads. “The more people who participate, the more we will learn about the experiences and needs of our UAlbany community members.”
Dissatisfaction with on-campus resources for victims of sexual violence has culminated in recent activity in the Student Association (SA) regarding the Title IX process at UAlbany. In February, over 100 students attended an SA Senate session to advocate on behalf of Title IX victims on campus. Attendees urged senators to bring back UAlbany’s now-defunct advocacy center for victims.
Earlier that month, the SA passed a bill laying the groundwork for a new advocacy center as well as calling for additional oversight of OEC proceedings.
In compliance with NY Education Law Article 129-B, signed into law in 2015 by former Governor Andrew Cuomo, SUNY institutions must conduct a campus climate assessment every other year. Topics assessed by the survey include but are not limited to: the Title IX coordinator’s role, campus sexual assault policies and procedures, sexual violence resources on and off campus, and student experiences with sexual assault and harassment.
The most recent Campus Climate Survey results available on the OEC’s website are from 2019. That year, 698 of 1487 respondents (47%) reported that they experienced sexual harassment or sexual assault to varying degrees of severity, with 35.9% of those who had been victimized reporting that the perpetrator was affiliated with the campus community and 47% reporting that the perpetrator was not. In addition, 31% of 1,713 respondents reported that they were unsure of how to report incidents of sexual misconduct to UAlbany.
The University at Albany’s most recent Campus Climate Survey, conducted in 2021, had over 1,750 respondents. The Office of Equity and Compliance is in the process of compiling the results into a report that will likely be released on the OEC’s website at some point this semester.