I would like to share with you the results of the University of Michigan’s campus climate survey on sexual misconduct.
Earlier this year, 3,000 of you were part of a representative sample invited to participate. As I said in an email to you in January, U-M is making findings from the survey public to promote transparency and allow others to learn from our data, but no information identifying student respondents will be shared.
I invite you to review the information related to the survey.
Our goal was to gain a deeper understanding of sexual misconduct affecting students on our campus so we can more effectively design and target our prevention efforts, improve our investigation and adjudication of complaints, and provide better support for survivors and others. Though existing research provides some evidence that young people enrolled in college are at less risk of sexual assault than those who are not, the risk on campuses must be addressed.
Even a single instance of sexual assault at the university should not be tolerated. The findings from our survey give us information at a level of detail we have never had before and will help us create a safer, more respectful and more caring community overall.
I offer my thanks to all of you who participated in the U-M survey and also to those who took a separate survey of U-M students conducted in April by the Association of American Universities. Thanks to the efforts of many, including students who helped us get the word out about these surveys, we are now armed with strong, scientific data that we can use to address sexual misconduct.
While we are grateful for this data, we must not lose sight of the human beings whose lives are being affected by sexual misconduct. I have heard many painful stories from survivors of sexual assault. They shared with me what they went through and have asked for my help.
I feel personally responsible for the safety and well-being of each of you. As we continue to examine the data you helped us collect, I hope to keep the dialogue going on how we can work to create a safer campus. Many of you have already shared your thoughts about this very important issue, and I appreciate your willingness to help your fellow students and our community.
I look forward to welcoming you back to campus in September.