Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Notre Dame survey on sexual misconduct and campus climate?

The University of Notre Dame administered its third climate survey in the fall of 2016. The purpose of the survey was to help assess the knowledge, perceptions, and experience of Notre Dame students in relation to sexual assault, other sexual misconduct, dating and domestic violence, stalking, and other conduct that creates a sexually hostile environment.

All degree-seeking undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students who were enrolled at the time of the survey were invited to participate. The survey had a 45% response rate overall.

Who administered and analyzed the results of the survey?

The survey was administered by the University's Office of Strategic Planning & Institutional Research, which oversees all of Notre Dame's institutional and consortium survey instruments. Individual student responses are kept strictly confidential.

The survey instrument was developed by Notre Dame, though several questions from surveys utilized at peer institutions were incorporated into the instrument. Due to differences in the survey instrument itself, question sequence, and timing, results for individual questions cannot be compared across institutions.

The survey results were analyzed and summarized by the Office of Strategic Planning & Institutional Research, in conjunction with representatives from the Office of the General Counsel and the Division of Student Affairs.

What does the survey cover?

The survey covered the following topics:

  • perspectives and knowledge of University policies, understanding of consent, recognition of situations, and awareness of reporting and safety-related resources
  • barriers to reporting, barriers to intervening, and personal barriers when opting not to pursue resources in incidents of sexual assault, sexual misconduct, and other conduct that creates a sexually hostile environment
  • observations of sexual assault and personal experiences of sexual assault, sexual misconduct, and other conduct that creates a sexually hostile environment
  • personal use of resources relating to sexual assault, sexual misconduct, and other conduct that creates a sexually hostile environment
  • impressions of University response to incidents of sexual assault, sexual misconduct, and other conduct that creates a sexually hostile environment

Were answers to the survey confidential?

Yes. Responses are strictly confidential. No responses are reported in a way that can match them back to the person who completed the survey.

How did Notre Dame’s results compare to peer institutions?

The survey instrument was developed by Notre Dame, though several questions were included from surveys utilized at peer institutions. Differences in the survey instrument itself,  timing, and question sequence render survey result comparisons across institutions difficult.

What will Notre Dame do with the results of these surveys?

This information will help inform continued development of our prevention and education resources on campus.

The Committee for Sexual Assault Prevention (CSAP) will also review the results and work to determine the best strategies to address concerns and the themes, and issue formal recommendations to Vice President for Student Affairs Erin Hoffmann Harding.

How often is this survey administered?

The University of Notre Dame has administered the Sexual Conduct and Campus Climate Questionnaire three times. The first survey was administered in Fall 2012. The second survey was administered in Spring 2015. The results for both the 2012 and 2015 surveys are available here. The most recent survey was administered in Fall 2016 and is available here.

What is Notre Dame doing to prevent sexual assault?

Notre Dame coordinates numerous education and training efforts focused on education and prevention of sexual assault, sexual misconduct, dating and domestic violence, stalking, and other conduct that creates a sexually hostile environment. A comprehensive, though not exhaustive, description of campus initiatives is available here.

If I am a student, where can I get help?

Students: The University of Notre Dame provides a variety of services, both confidential and non-confidential, for students, faculty, and staff who have been affected by sexual assault, sexual misconduct, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and conduct that creates a hostile environment. Additionally, off-campus resources are also available for the University community. More information about resources and support is available here.

If I am a Notre Dame student, faculty, or staff member, how can I report a sexual assault?

Students: The University encourages students to report all incidents of sexual assault, sexual misconduct, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and other conduct that creates a hostile environment. Students are provided different options both on and off-campus for reporting such incidents. Visit the Report an Incident page for more information.

Faculty and staff: For more information for faculty/staff reports, please refer to the University's Reporting and Response Procedure for Violations of the University's Policy on Sexual and Discriminatory Harassment by Faculty and Staff.

Does the University investigate every report of sexual assault?

The University is obligated under the law to investigate complaints made to non-confidential resources. Complainants have several options under University policies: they may pursue criminal charges, proceed through the University’s Administrative processes, or elect to pursue both options. They also have the opportunity to request anonymity through the University process and/or request that the University not initiate an Administrative Investigation. More information about reporting options can be found here.

The extent and nature of the University’s ability to investigate a concern may be limited depending upon information available to reasonably determine key facts such as time, date, location, and names of parties involved in an alleged incident.

Complaints made to confidential resources will not be subject to an Administrative Investigation unless there is imminent danger to the individual or others.