2019 Sexual Misconduct Climate Report

Dear Wentworth students, faculty, and staff:

One of a university’s most important priorities is ensuring all students have the opportunity to learn and live in an environment conducive to personal and intellectual growth. To foster a safe and inclusive environment, assessment of the campus culture must be done on a regular basis. In 2015, Wentworth committed to conducting Sexual Misconduct Climate surveys to better understand the experiences of our students and the climate of our campus. This is a commitment I support and intend to continue. The most recent survey took place in March 2019 and included questions to evaluate students’ perceptions of the campus climate related to sexual misconduct. Today, I am releasing that report to the Wentworth campus community. The 2019 Sexual Misconduct Climate Report can be found here.

The 2019 survey was distributed to 3,827 full time day undergraduate and graduate students, and 13 percent of our students responded. We are appreciative of those students who took the time to complete this anonymous survey, providing the university with important information and insight into the campus climate. This information is already informing change.

As you will read in the report, the majority of respondents’ attitudes and beliefs reflect a campus that is safe, supportive, and inclusive; the majority of respondents do not believe common myths related to sexual misconduct, which can often perpetuate victim blaming; and the majority of respondents indicate not hearing employees or students make inappropriate sexual or gendered comments during the 12-months prior to the survey. These are overall positive results and show alignment with university policies and expectations. However, it is important to point out that while the majority is many, it is not everybody.

As president, I firmly believe that until we have survey results that indicate positive responses from all respondents, our work is never done. One inappropriate comment, especially by an employee, or one negative belief held by a student can begin to erode the strong foundation of our campus community. It is our shared responsibility to hold ourselves and others to a higher standard. Therefore, in addition to the work being done by the Campus Climate Committee, I want the university to further understand the existing campus culture and identify barriers and obstacles to a truly inclusive and equitable community. Two steps in achieving this will take place this Fall:

  • the university has engaged an outside facilitator to run focus groups with students, faculty, and staff that will be centered around inclusion and experiences on campus;
  • a working group, comprised of university stakeholders (including but not limited to students, faculty, and staff), will convene to develop the necessary components of a culture committed to inclusive excellence.

If you have any questions regarding the report or have any suggestions or ideas, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Campus Climate Committee chairs: Vice President for Human Resources/Title IX Coordinator Linda Shinomoto via email at shinomotol@wit.edu or phone 617-989-4193 or Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students Annamaria Wenner via email at wennera@wit.edu or phone 617-989-4410.

I want to remind you of the important information, resources, and support that can be found at the Not Alone webpage.

Best regards,

Mark Thompson, Ph.D.
Wentworth Institute of Technology