Campus climate survey 2016-2017 results available here.

Campus climate survey 2015-2016 results available here.

Campus climate survey 2014-2015 results available here.

 

nustudent affairs

Dear Members of the Northeastern community,

Lately, the news is replete with stories related to sexual assault and harassment. For some, this moment in time may be empowering. For others, it may be overwhelming. We want all members of the Northeastern University community to be aware and take advantage of the resources and referrals that are available. Northeastern is steadfast in its commitment to preventing incidents of sexual violence and ensuring that a range of vital educational, support, and response programs are widely available to the campus community

The third annual university-wide campus climate survey was administered during the 2016-17 academic year. It affords us the opportunity to assess students’ understanding of sexual violence, as well as ways in which Northeastern can bolster its efforts to safeguard students.

We are once again sharing the results of this survey with you to raise the community’s awareness about the continued importance of our work in this area.

About 25 percent of students responded to this voluntary and confidential survey. That represents an increase from 21 percent last year and is a strong representation of the student community. We are encouraged that more students are participating in this important conversation.

We are also heartened by the increase in the percentage of students who said they feel safe while on Northeastern’s campus. Ninety-six percent of students reported feeling safe, an increase from the first survey in 2014, when 94.5 percent reported feeling safe. A safe campus is of paramount importance to Northeastern, and our work must continue to ensure that every member of our community feels safe.

For the third year in a row, there was an increase in the percentage of students who reported a familiarity with the resources available to them if they or a friend are a survivor of sexual violence. More than three quarters of students (76%) said they know where to go for assistance, and a majority of students know of the options available to sexual violence survivors, including assistance and support from the Office of University Equity and Compliance (OUEC), Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution (OSCCR), and the ability to have housing arrangements and class schedules changed.

The latest survey results demonstrate that we continue to make progress increasing student awareness of on-campus support and services. But more work is needed. Unfortunately, fewer students reported this year that they trust the on-campus resources and would take advantage of them. This is deeply concerning and Northeastern has already taken important steps to strengthen that trust and ensure that survivors feel comfortable reaching out for help.

Moving forward, a new policy will be implemented so that Office of Prevention and Education (OPEN) staff who are available at the ViSION Resource Center will now be confidential resources, similar to the University Health and Counseling Services (UHCS) staff and Northeastern’s spiritual advisors, and therefore will not be required to report an incident disclosed to them by a student. This will provide students with another confidential avenue to access help and support.

Here are some additional steps we’ve taken in the last year as part of our continued work on this issue:

New Title IX policy

Northeastern has updated its Title IX policy, including a new adjudication process for cases, updated definitions, providing more clear and transparent information for people looking to learn about rights, resources, and procedures.

Sexual violence is not tolerated at Northeastern. Incidents of sexual violence should be reported to the Northeastern University Police Department (NUPD) or OUEC.

Resources and support

The university provides sexual violence survivors with a number of on-campus and off-campus resources to facilitate access to immediate confidential medical care and counseling services, incident reporting, and access to legal counsel. Information on services and resources of campus and community partners targeting sexual violence, stalking, sexual harassment, and dating violence, can be found on the ViSION webpage at www.northeastern.edu/vision.

With the goal of making more services more accessible, UHCS, in conjunction with OPEN, started a psychoeducational support group, HEAL, for survivors of sexual violence. OPEN also hosts a variety of self-care programs including sessions on grounding exercises, trauma sensitive yoga, and healing through the arts.

The ViSION (Violence Support, Intervention and Outreach Network) Resource Center, located at 106 St. Stephen St, continues to serve as an entry point for survivors of sexual violence. Staff at the center help to connect survivors with information about on- and off-campus resources and reporting options. Since the fall of 2016, the resource center has seen increased visibility and utilization. The university’s WeCare team is also available to provide academic and personal support.

Student education

All incoming students, including graduate students, are required to complete an online and interactive interpersonal violence prevention program. This video-based program provides critical information about consent, bystander intervention, sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, stalking, sexual harassment, and much more.

OPEN and OUEC have provided more than 150 programs related to on-going prevention and awareness of intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and stalking. This past year, OPEN developed a Northeastern-specific bystander intervention program focused on identifying high-risk situations and skill-building around proactive intervention. The workshop teaches about healthy consent, resource options and how to support survivors.  The program has reached thousands of students in a variety of first-year seminars and other academic classes, the N.U.in program, in addition to students who participated with their residence halls or student groups. Several different types of campaigns were utilized throughout the year including presentations, online programs, resource panels, social marketing campaigns, and awareness month events.

Faculty education

All new faculty and staff receive Title IX training as part of their orientation. Resources are available to ensure that faculty and staff get on-going training and feel adequately prepared to respond to disclosures of sexual misconduct. Such trainings ensure that community members understand definitions of Prohibited Offenses and consent, information concerning rights under Title IX, sexual harassment training, obligations of responsible employees, as well as how to respond in a way that is compassionate and trauma sensitive.

Next survey 

Our fourth annual Campus Climate Survey is slated to be conducted in Spring 2018.

The survey results continue to serve as essential tools that better inform how impactful the university’s educational and preventative measures are in addressing sexual violence. We have made and will continue to make purposeful changes focused on safeguarding students. This requires the entire campus community to work collaboratively and transparently to intensify outreach and programing.

Northeastern University will continue its commitment to fostering a safe environment free of all forms of harassment and violence, where students, faculty, and staff alike are empowered to realize their passions and dreams.

This work is the responsibility of each one of us and on behalf of the university, I ask for your participation in these community efforts. I invite anyone on campus to contact me personally at m.estabrook@northeastern.edu with any comments or questions.

Sincerely,

signature

Madeleine Estabrook

Vice President for Student Affairs