Loyola released the results of its first gender-based violence climate survey Monday morning. The university said that while students, faculty and staff seemed to indicate Loyola is a safe place, more training is needed to ensure victims of gender-based violence and bystanders know the procedures for reporting and tactics for prevention.
While only 14 percent of the nearly 20,000 Loyola community members invited to take the voluntary survey completed it, the results, prepared by Loyola’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness, emphasized the low response rate doesn’t mean the resulting analysis was useless. The individual completion rate for students was 9 percent.
The survey was released in April to all Loyola students and employees in response to a growing number of gender-based violence reports last fall. Gender-based violence includes instances of sexual misconduct, dating violence, stalking and sexual harassment.
The results of this survey come in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations rocking workplaces nationwide in the last few months, from those in Hollywood against producer Harvey Weinstein, actor Kevin Spacey and director Brett Ratner, journalists such as Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose and politicians including Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.
An email message from Thomas Kelly, Loyola’s senior vice president for administrative services, said the survey results conveyed that many members of the Loyola community believe gender-based violence is a problem but also that they’d be willing to step up and speak out against it.
The results showed that 5 percent of faculty and 7 percent of staff reported being victims of sexual misconduct compared to 11 percent of students.
While the results indicated most students, faculty and staff receive enough information about gender-based misconduct, it also showed respondents feel there’s not enough education and training on how to report incidents and the processes Loyola has for dealing with those reports. While the majority of those who completed the survey said they received information, only about half said they received formal training.
Although most respondents indicated they were aware Loyola had policies and procedures regarding gender-based violence reports, they were less clear of the specific details.
Most students, faculty and staff indicated the university would take reports of gender-based misconduct seriously, had confidence Loyola would keep the identity of the victim confidential and had confidence Loyola would offer sufficient support and refer the case to outside law enforcement if necessary. However, faculty and staff had more confidence in Loyola than the responding students.
Reports of gender-based violence more than doubled last academic year compared to the previous year, The PHOENIX reported. The Title IX Office — through which Loyola handles reports of gender-based misconduct — has faced criticism from several of those involved, including accusers and accused, in the past year.
The results said that while Loyola will use the survey to refine its processes and strengthen its educational and training programs, it’s tough to get the full picture on campus.
“A poor response rate along with incomplete responses makes it difficult to make inferences and generalizations with respect to the views of all students, faculty, and staff,” the document read. “The results presented here were used to construct a broad basic ‘climate’ of gender-based violence at Loyola.”