NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. — Penn State New Kensington released the results of a survey of students’ experiences with and attitudes about sexual misconduct April 12, including a finding that nearly 94 percent of students reported feeling safe from sexual harassment on the campus. The results are part of a comprehensive University-wide survey conducted last fall.
The Sexual Misconduct Climate Survey is part of an ongoing broad-based initiative by Penn State to significantly curtail sexual misconduct on all of its campuses, while at the same time expanding its efforts to provide an effective response to any cases. The survey asked students about their experiences, as well as about their attitudes, and awareness of the resources available for preventing and responding to sexual misconduct.
“The results of this survey are important in allowing the New Kensington campus to understand the current climate and to continuing our battle against sexual misconduct. Providing a safe and secure environment for our students to live and learn is our priority across the Commonwealth,” said Andrea Dowhower, interim vice president for Penn State Student Affairs.
“I want to thank all of the students who took the time to complete the survey,” said Kevin Snider, chancellor of the campus. “Student safety is of the utmost importance, and responses to survey instruments like the Sexual Misconduct Climate Survey help the campus understand the current climate and continue to strengthen resources that allow us to not only respond to sexual misconduct, but work to end it as well."
"The results, overall, are positive, but we’re not satisfied," added Snider. "Students should know we are reviewing their feedback to see how we can strengthen awareness and safety even more. We’d like to remind and encourage our students to participate in processes like this now and in the future. It does make a difference in helping us determine how resources and programming can be implemented to meet their needs.”
At Penn State New Kensington, 388 students received the survey, and the response rate was 24.2% percent. University-wide, a representative sample of 7,352 students completed the survey, including both undergraduates and graduate students. Completely anonymous, voluntary and completed electronically, the survey covered topics such as whether a student thinks the University would take a report of sexual misconduct seriously, whether the student is aware of resources available and whether they would walk a friend home who had had too much to drink.
Summaries of the findings for each of the 23 Penn State campuses where students were surveyed, including Penn State New Kensington, can be found online.
The survey itself was based on the Administration Researcher Campus Climate Collaborative (ARC3) survey, which was created based on suggestions from the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. Penn State’s survey was administered by the Office of Student Affairs Research and Assessment, which partnered with DatStat, a data research company the University has worked with on other survey projects.
For more information about resources to prevent and respond to sexual misconduct at Penn State New Kensington, contact the Office of Student Affairs at 724-334-6062. Those seeking additional resources related to sexual misconduct can also view and contact local community organizations. Counseling services are also available by visiting the department webpage or calling 724-334-6744.