Surbhi Bharadwaj

On Tuesday, the Association of American Universities released its 2019 Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Misconduct, showing progress among Yale students in addressing sexual misconduct, but higher survey-estimated rates of sexual assault.

The results come four years after the AAU’s inaugural 2015 survey, which collected data from 27 schools to better understand campus climates and gauge the effectiveness of efforts to decrease sexual misconduct. The organization plans to conduct surveys and release updated results every four years in order to track the progression of sexual misconduct on college campuses.

According to University Title IX Coordinator Stephanie Spangler’s introduction to the survey — which was linked in a campus-wide email from University President Peter Salovey on Tuesday — more students seem to be utilizing Yale’s resources to respond to sexual misconduct. But while students are experiencing fewer instances of “harassing behaviors,” and intimate partner violence, “survey-estimated” rates of sexual assault have increased since 2015.

“Sexual misconduct causes serious harm to those who experience it, is antithetical to the university’s high standards of conduct, and is corrosive to Yale’s mission,” Salovey wrote in his Tuesday email. “Such behavior has no place on this campus or anywhere.”

According to Salovey’s email, more students are reporting sexual misconduct and are more likely to know how to react as bystanders. However, according to a Tuesday email by Dean of Yale College Marvin Chun, most of the perpetrators of reported misconduct are students, which Chun called “deeply concern[ing],” given that the results are “so at odds with our community’s values.”

The survey data were analyzed by Westat, which adjusted the survey results based on some groups’ propensity to report misconduct in order to be representative of Yale’s population.

Yale and 32 other universities participated in the survey according to Salovey’s email, with a 45.4 percent response rate among Yale’s 13,916 students over the age of 18. In contrast, the AAU’s aggregate response rate was 21.9 percent.

This is a developing story. Check back later for updates.

Valerie Pavilonis |