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Survey results expose deeper issues

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The likelihood Texas State students will report a sexual assault to campus and local authorities has come into question after a survey done by Not On My Campus, a sexual assault awareness group.

Not On My Campus surveyed 160 Texas State students on issues surrounding sexual assault. The survey results exposed issues involving consent, Title IX and the likelihood of students to report.

The survey was released in April, during sexual assault awareness month. The organization sent the survey via email to those on its member list and offered the survey on social media. The survey was to serve as a tool for the organization to use in order to better understand Texas State’s specific issues regarding sexual harassment and assault.

Forty-five percent of students surveyed answered they would not report their assault to the University Police Department or the San Marcos Police Department. 65 percent said they feel unsafe walking on campus at night, and 64 percent of students answered they did not know what Title IX is or what it does.

Brooklyn Boreing, president of Not On My Campus said the results of the survey prove to the organization and to others Texas State has issues with assault and awareness. Due to the results, the organization will take new approaches to prevention.

“I think that Title IX is pushed down students’ throats for 40 minutes during orientation or during Bobcat Preview and then never really spoken about again, so we would definitely like to increase that through a social media campaign or something similar,” Boreing said.

Title IX is an amendment of the Education Amendments of 1972. The rule prohibits sexual discrimination in state-funded institutions but also works to prevent sexual assault and violence, according to its website. The survey revealed the majority of students are unaware of how to take advantage of the act, or what it is.

Boreing said the organization works with a Title IX coordinator and is collaborating with the Dean of Students about increasing awareness and educating students on Title IX.

Caroline Muller, Not On My Campus vice president, said she understands each survivor has a unique story and their own struggles. Muller said survivors can feel helpless, scared and confused, which is why these crimes may go unreported to UPD, SMPD or Title IX coordinators.

“It is a very scary thing to have to report something like this to the police. It’s hard to even tell your best friend or your mom, let alone telling complete strangers who are about to ask you a bunch of questions and be very intrusive about such a personal and vulnerable act,” Boreing said. “You never know how you are going to react until you are in one of those situations.”

The organization promotes the reporting of sexual assaults and urges students to look at any and all options when it comes to reporting. The organization has received reports and strongly urges students to use support groups and seek justice.

Muller said due to the results, the organization now has a more focused perspective on its goal.

“It is clear that there are still so many people who don’t see sexual assault as a problem on our campus, so we need to spread the word about it and let everyone know this is happening here at their school and this is happening now,” Muller said.