Campus Report

2019 Sexual Assault Campus Climate Survey Update

Office of Communications
October 30, 2019

Dear members of the Kenyon community,

Over the past five years, Kenyon has participated in a national survey that seeks to gauge the climate of sexual assault and sexual violence on college campuses. Developed by the Higher Education Data Sharing Consortium (HEDS), the Sexual Assault Campus Climate Survey collects data on both the occurrence of campus sexual violence as well as perceptions of the institution’s response and of campus climate more broadly. More than 100 colleges and universities have administered the survey since it became available in 2015; Kenyon has administered it three times: in 2015, 2017, and 2019. I am writing to share the results of the most recent survey (PDF)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report (PDF) that nearly 44 percent of women and 25 percent of men experience some sort of sexual violence in their lifetime. These figures are staggering. Kenyon is not isolated from these realities, and the results of our 2019 survey reflect that troubling truth. Of the 24 percent of Kenyon students who responded to the survey, 18 percent reported being sexually assaulted or experiencing unwanted sexual contact as a Kenyon student. The rate reported by Kenyon students is higher than that reported by their peers at other small colleges (10 percent); however, Kenyon students also reported having a greater understanding of sexual assault and how to recognize it (94 percent versus 86 percent), which may account for some of the disparity. We have made a concerted effort to build awareness of sexual misconduct on campus, and these data may signal that it is having an impact.

Other measures of campus climate are concerning. While Kenyon students reported feeling valued in the classroom and supported by faculty, staff and peers, only 47 percent of respondents agreed that the administration contributes to a positive and supportive campus climate. As Kenyon’s chief administrator, this gives me great pause. For students to feel safe and be safe, Kenyon must be a place guided by mutual respect and shared responsibility for the well-being of our community. I have asked the Institutional Research Office to investigate these findings further so that we may better understand the factors at play, and how to act on them.

The issue of sexual misconduct is of critical concern on college campuses. And while the data collected in the Sexual Assault Campus Climate Survey tell a broader story about the trends on our own campus and across the U.S., each Kenyon data point reflects the personal experience of a fellow member of our community, a life that has been irrevocably changed by an incident on our campus or in one of our programs. We all share the responsibility to foster a community where sexual violence is not tolerated, and where our fellow students and colleagues feel valued and supported.

To learn more about the resources at Kenyon and our policies regarding sexual misconduct, visit our website or contact Civil Rights/Title IX Coordinator Samantha Hughes at 740-427-5820 or For more information about the survey, its implementation and resulting data, please contact Director of Institutional Research Erika Farfan at 740-427-5571 or


Sean Decatur