Frequently Asked Questions

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

The University of Notre Dame administered its second climate survey between January and February 2015. The purpose of the survey was to help assess the knowledge, perceptions, and experience of Notre Dame students in relation to sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking. 

All degree-seeking undergraduate and post baccalaureate students who were currently enrolled (on campus or through a study abroad program) were invited to participate in the questionnaire with a 38% response rate overall.

Who administered and analyzed the results of the survey?

The survey was administered by the Office of Strategic Planning & Institutional Research, which handles 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 were included from surveys utilized at peer institutions.  Differences in the survey instrument itself, timing, and question sequence do not ensure that results can 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.

The Committee on Sexual Assault Prevention (CSAP) reviewed the results prior to issuing formal recommendations to Vice President for Student Affairs Erin Hoffmann Harding. CSAP members worked to determine the best strategies to address concerns and the themes that arose from the survey results.  

What does the survey cover?

The survey covered the following topics:

  • perspectives and knowledge of University policies, understanding of consent, and awareness of reporting and safety resources
  • barriers to reporting incidents of sexual misconduct, sexual assault or sexual harassment
  • observations of sexual harassment and personal experiences of sexual assault and sexual misconduct
  • impressions of University response to incidents of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct and sexual assault 

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.  The Fact Sheet about the AAU Campus Climate Survey offers some information regarding a similar survey administered to select institutions that are part of the American Association of Universities.

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

This information will help inform continued development to our assessment, prevention and education resources on campus. The results of the survey also informed recommendations made by the Committee on Sexual Assault Prevention.

If I am a Notre Dame faculty or staff member or student, 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 conduct that creates a hostile environment. Students are provided different options both on and off-campus for reporting sexual assault, sexual misconduct, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and conduct that creates a hostile environment.  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 and Discriminatory Harassment by Faculty and Staff .

What is Notre Dame doing to prevent sexual assault?

The University of Notre Dame coordinates numerous education and training efforts focused on education and prevention of sexual misconduct and assault. A comprehensive, though not exhaustive description of campus initiatives is available here.

Does the University investigate every report of sexual assault?

The University is obligated under the law to investigate complaints made to non-confidential resources. An Administrative Investigation must be initiated, although the nature and extent of an investigation depends on the extent to which the University has enough information 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.