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Fact Sheet: Values and Respect Survey

At the request of Citadel President John W. Rosa, a survey regarding sexual harassment, sexual assault and related leadership issues was conducted in April and May 2006 at The Citadel. The survey was based on the U.S. Department of Defense Sexual Assault and Leadership Survey used by all three federal service academies.

The Citadel’s survey aimed to gather information about cadet’s values, their experiences with sexual assault and sexual harassment and campus climate related to gender and leadership issues.Purpose: To establish a “baseline” of information to evaluate the effectiveness of future program and policy adjustments regarding college operations, culture, climate and perceptions.

The survey is part of an institution-wide initiative to improve the Corps’ understanding of The Citadel’s core values and the importance of respect for self and others.

Voluntarily participating in the survey were 114 women and 487 men from each class (freshmen to seniors) in the Corps of Cadets. At the time of the survey there were 118 women and 1,777 men enrolled. All surveys were anonymous and covered the four years between 2002 and 2006. Because of their small number all women were asked to take the survey. Following DOD practice, a statistically representative sample of 30 percent of the men were surveyed.

Results of the survey

  • More than 68 percent of women and 17 percent of men said they experienced some form of sexual harassment since becoming a cadet.

  • Between 2002 and 2006, 22 women and 19 men said they had experienced incidents of alleged sexual assault. Among women, most alleged incidents involved touching or fondling. Seven alleged incidents involving women included sexual intercourse.

  • Most incidents of alleged sexual assault reported by female cadets occurred in the barracks and the offenders were primarily fellow cadets.

  • Among both women and men, most alleged incidents were not reported to authorities.

  • The majority of cadets surveyed do not believe that men and women are treated fairly overall. Men believe women are treated more favorably while women believe men are treated more favorably. Freshmen are more likely to believe that both men and women are treated favorable overall.

  • Most incidents of alleged sexual assault were not reported to college officials and did not involve a criminal investigation because cadets chose not to report incidents to law enforcement, or declined to cooperate with an investigation.

  • Fewer female than male cadets believe their peer leaders create a climate in which sexual harassment and sexual assault is not tolerated, and where cadets are encouraged to report sexual harassment and sexual assault.

  • Fewer female than male cadets believe that their peer leaders and commissioned officers ensure victims are treated with dignity and respect and provide an appropriate level of privacy to victims.

  • Most women and some men believe that cadets will not confront cadets who engage in sexual harassment or report cadets who continue to engage in sexual harassment, even after being confronted.

  • More female than male cadets believe cadets are not willing to report each other for a sexual assault. A large number of both men and women believe that cadets allow personal loyalties to affect reporting and that cadets do not report sexual assaults for fear they or others will be punished for other infractions.

  • Many cadets believe fraudulent reporting of sexual assault is a problem.

National Comparison

  • 25 percent of girls and 17 percent of boys will be sexually abused by age 18.

  • 17 percent of American women and 3 percent of men are victims of rape or attempted rape.

  • Among college students, 20 percent to 25 percent of women experience rape or attempted rape during their college years.

  • In nearly 90 percent of college sexual assaults the victim and assailant knew each other.

  • In about 75 percent of college sexual assaults, the victim, offender or both were drinking alcohol at the time.

  • Less than 5 percent of college students reported a rape or attempted rape to campus authorities, underscoring the fact that sexual assault is the most underreported crime in the nation.

Sources include: U.S. Justice Department and the National Crime Victimization Survey

Core Alcohol and Drug Survey

The Citadel’s Core Alcohol and Drug Survey was administered to several random samples of cadets in the fall 2000, spring 2002, fall 2002, fall 2003 and spring 2004. Over five administrations, 1,528 cadets have completed the survey.

The goal of the survey is to measure alcohol and other drug use and attitudes and perceptions of college students. Analyzed by the Core Institute at Southern Illinois University, the survey is given at two- and four-year institutions in the United States. It has data from a national reference group of 54,367 college students from 125 colleges.

Results of these ongoing studies of alcohol and drug use are included to expand upon findings in the Values and Respect survey and evaluate the correlation between alcohol and drug use and values and respect issues.

Results of this survey tie into and are related to issues revealed in the Values and Respect Survey.

Results of the most recent survey

  • More than 90 percent of cadets had consumed alcohol in the year prior to the survey.

  • More than 80 percent of cadets had consumed alcohol in the 30 days prior.

  • About 64 percent of cadets had engaged in binge drinking in the two weeks prior. Binge drinking is defined as five or more drinks in a single setting.

  • Among cadets under the legal drinking age of 21, 75 percent had consumed alcohol in the 30 days prior to the survey.

  • More than half of respondents reported some form of public misconduct (fighting, police encounters) as a result of drinking alcohol or drug use.

  • Nearly 37 percent reported experiencing some kind of serious personal problem, such as suicidal thoughts, injury, and sexual assault, due to alcohol or drug use during the year prior to the survey.

  • More than 90 percent of men and women said drinking is central to the social life of male cadets. More than 50 percent of men and women believe drinking is central to the social life of female cadets. Nearly 89 percent said drinking is central to the social life of alumni, 72 percent for athletes and nearly 40 percent for faculty and staff.

  • Among cadets who reported experiencing forced sexual touching or fondling, 85 percent had consumed alcohol or drugs shortly before these incidents. Among students who reported experiencing unwanted sexual intercourse, nearly 77 percent had consumed alcohol or drugs shortly before the incidents.

  • About 21 percent of men and women said they have been taken advantage of sexually and 12 percent said they had taken advantage of someone sexually as a result of substance use.

Conclusions

  • Both male and female cadets report various beliefs, perceptions, and behaviors that are inconsistent with The Citadel’s core values of academics, duty, honor, morality, discipline and diversity and are inconsistent with The Citadel’s mission of developing principled leaders.

  • Both male and female cadets report experiencing incidents of alleged sexual harassment while enrolled at The Citadel, which is clearly inconsistent with The Citadel’s core values and mission.

  • Both male and female cadets report experiencing incidents of alleged sexual assault, both rape and other types of sexual assault, while enrolled at The Citadel, which is clearly inconsistent with The Citadel’s core values and mission.

  • Both male and female cadets report alcohol use that frequently involves underage drinking, binge drinking and public misconduct, which is clearly inconsistent with The Citadel’s core values and mission.

  • Both male and female cadets report alcohol use is often involved in their experiences of unwanted sexual touching, fondling, and intercourse.

  • Cadets, staff, faculty, alumni and parents need to work together to acknowledge these problems, honestly confront these problems, and work consistently to create a culture where cadets show respect for themselves and respect for others. 

Next step

The Citadel is implementing an institution-wide initiative called The Values and Respect Program. During the coming academic year, the program’s top priorities will be to address respect as well as sexual assault, sexual harassment and drug and alcohol misuse and abuse.

These issues - sexual assault and harassment and alcohol misuse and abuse - will be addressed by focusing initially on five areas:

  • Institutional Communication
    The Citadel has initiated discussions of the results of the Values and Respect Survey will all college constituencies in an effort to promote ongoing discussion and understanding of the issues.

  • Education and Training
    The Citadel has initiated a four-year, co-curricular, developmental educational plan for cadets as well as training for cadets, staff, and faculty to help prevent and respond to these issues.

  • Policies and Procedures
    The Citadel will review current policies and practices, improve understanding of college regulations and laws, and consistently enforce both our college regulations and laws related to these issues.

  • Services and Resources
    The Citadel will work to increase the likelihood that survivors of sexual assault seek support services and formally report incidents of assault.

  • Assessment of Effectiveness
    The Citadel will conduct ongoing assessment of these initiatives in an effort to evaluate the effectiveness of various programs.

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