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October 1, 2015

AAU sexual assault survey

One in five female undergraduates and one in 10 female graduate students at Pitt report they have experienced nonconsensual penetration or sexual touching involving physical force or incapacitation since entering college. Six percent of male undergraduates and 1 percent of male graduate students responding reported similar experiences in a recently released survey of student attitudes and experiences regarding sexual violence and harassment.

Pitt’s results were similar to the broader results encompassing 27 Association of American Universities institutions that participated in the AAU campus climate survey released Sept. 21.

Prior to the survey’s release, Chancellor Patrick Gallagher told Senate Council he’s not interested in how Pitt compares to other schools. “I care how different we are from zero. And we’re very far away from zero,” he said.

“There just can’t be any room for this on a college campus. This has to be a safe environment where everybody can feel they can live, learn, participate, without that fear.”

Pitt hasn’t been standing still, he said, enumerating efforts including naming a new vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion, hiring a new Title IX coordinator, implementing a new web site on sexual harassment and assault response education (SHARE), and incorporating bystander awareness training for incoming students as part of Arrival Survival.

“Taking a hard look at yourself is the first step to improving,” he said. “This is not going to be solved overnight. It’s going to take everybody. But if we aren’t looking at the numbers and looking at the data then we’re not serious about improving.”

Katie Pope, who became Pitt’s first full-time Title IX coordinator Sept. 1, told the University Times that additional resources, including a more comprehensive Title IX web page and a broader range of training for Pitt employees, are in the works.

She said benchmarking is underway to determine the areas in which additional training is needed. She and Pamela Connelly, associate vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion, have been gathering input on how best to engage faculty and staff.

Pope said it is important for faculty and staff to be familiar with Pitt resources in order to be of help to students who may come to them for assistance.

She invited faculty and staff to contact her with any questions.

The AAU survey results are posted at

The page also includes links to related resources.

—Kimberly K. Barlow   

Filed under: Feature,Volume 48 Issue 3

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