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Title IX and Sexual Misconduct

NYFA’s Sexual Misconduct Campus Climate Survey

Executive Summary


New York State’s Enough is Enough law requires colleges and universities in the state to conduct biannual campus climate surveys to measure the prevalence of sexual assault on campus, assess students’ attitudes and awareness about sexual misconduct and how to report it on campus, and help schools identify ways to address the problem.

New York Film Academy’s Sexual Misconduct Prevention Campus Climate Survey, hereinafter referred to as the “survey,” was conducted between December 1, 2020 and January 22, 2021, through the Google Forms platform. The web-based survey could be accessed on smartphones, tablets, or desktops/laptops.

On December 1, 2021, an email was sent to all currently enrolled students (1,270) in the AFA, BA, BFA, MA, BFA, and one and two year conservatory programs across the New York, Los Angeles, and South Beach campuses informing them of the survey. Although the legal requirement to administer the survey only applies to the New York campus, NYFA felt it was important to understand the prevalence of on campus sexual assaults, students’ attitudes and awareness about sexual misconduct, and students’ awareness of their reporting options and resources at each campus.

In an effort to increase the number of responses received, the first 50 students to complete the survey would receive a $5.00 Starbucks gift card. In order to keep the participant anonymous and the responses confidential, students who completed the survey were able to enter their name into a separate form, one not associated with the survey questions, for their chance to win the $5.00 gift card. This form was used to help generate the send list for the January 21, 2021 email.

On January 21, 2021, a reminder email went out to 1,255 students currently enrolled in AFA, BA, BFA, MA, BFA, and one and two year conservatory programs across the New York, Los Angeles, and South Beach campuses, excluding those who had already participated in the survey who had not previously submitted a response. The response rate for this survey was below 1%.

It is important to note that the survey was intended for students who had completed one semester, or were near the end of their first semester, at the time the survey was distributed. However, when the second notification email was sent on January 21, 2021, there was a glitch in the server and newly enrolled Spring 2021 BFA, MFA, and 1 and 2-year conservatory students received notice of the survey. As a result, some of the responses pertaining to their time at NYFA may not accurately reflect the campus culture.

Additionally, some of the students who participated in the survey may have only participated in NYFA educational programming and/or activity in an online environment, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and therefore have never been to a NYFA campus or facility. Since the middle of March 2020, NYFA moved instruction and programming online and in September 2020 moved to a hybrid instruction model on the New York and South Beach campuses. Students at these campuses could opt to remain 100% online or participate in some classes on campus.

NYFA’s Sexual Misconduct Campus Climate Survey

Out of the 83 students who elected to take this survey, 57.8% of them are students at the Los Angeles Campus. 33.7% are students at the New York Campus, and 8.4% are students at the South Beach Campus. This is a slight overrepresentation of our New York students, who make up about 19.9% of NYFA’s overall enrollment, and underrepresents our Los Angeles campus, which makes up around 73.3% of NYFA’s enrollment.

The survey included questions to capture information in 11 topic areas required by New York State’s Enough is Enough statute. Those areas include questions about students’ knowledge of, attitudes about, and experiences with campus sexual violence and sexual harassment, and how they respond if they or somebody they know is affected by those behaviors. Within the survey, these 11 topics were organized and explored through the following four sections: General Perception of Safety/ Sexual Misconduct on Campus, Affirmative Consent and Bystander Intervention, Reporting and Awareness of NYFA Policy & Process, and Incidents. A fifth section was created to obtain the characteristics of the students participating in the survey. The information collected from this section is highlighted above.

Every question in the survey, excluding the question about campus affiliation, was optional, allowing each participant to pick and choose the questions to which they felt comfortable responding. The decision to require all participants to indicate which campus they were affiliated with was based on the fact that each campus, New York, Los Angeles, and South Beach, functions as individual campuses, each with its own identity and campus culture. It was important for personnel from each campus to internally assess students’ knowledge, attitudes, perceptions, and experiences on a per-campus basis.

However, overall, the NYFA student experience is one in which the majority of the students commute to their campus, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Below, you will find summaries of the four sections: General Perception of Safety/ Sexual Misconduct on Campus, Affirmative Consent and Bystander Intervention, Reporting and Awareness of NYFA Policy & Process, and Incidents. The summaries do not reflect responses received on a per-campus basis and rather highlight specific data points based on the totality (83) of the responses received.

General Perception of Safety/ Sexual Misconduct on Campus


This section asked questions to gather information about our campus community's understanding of NYFA policies, reporting options, resources, and behaviors that demonstrate sexual misconduct. The information obtained from this section was designed to help us understand the perception of our campus community regarding sexual misconduct as a problem on our campuses, of NYFA’s response to incidents of sexual misconduct, and about the overall culture at NYFA.

NYFA’s Sexual Misconduct Campus Climate Survey

Out of the 83 students who elected to take the survey, 82 responded to this question. Out of those 82 responses, 96.3% agree or strongly agree that they feel safe as a student enrolled at the New York Film Academy.

Affirmative Consent and Bystander Intervention


This section asked questions to gather information about our campus community's understanding of affirmative consent and to help NYFA assess the likelihood for student bystanders to intervene in situations. NYFA defines affirmative consent as a knowing, voluntary, and mutual decision among all participants to engage in sexual activity.
  • Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create clear permission regarding willingness to engage in sexual activity.
  • Silence or lack of resistance, in and of itself, does not demonstrate consent.
  • Consent to any sexual act or prior consensual sexual activity between or with any individual does not necessarily constitute consent to any other sexual act.
  • Consent is active, not passive, and cannot be assumed. If there is confusion or ambiguity, individuals need to stop sexual activity and communicate about each person’s willingness to continue.
  • Consent is required regardless of whether the person initiating the act is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
  • Consent may be initially given but withdrawn at any time. When consent is withdrawn or can no longer be given, sexual activity must stop.
  • Consent cannot be given when a person is incapacitated, which occurs when an individual lacks the ability to knowingly choose to participate in sexual activity.
    • Incapacitation may be caused by the lack of consciousness or being asleep, being involuntarily restrained, or if an individual otherwise cannot consent.
    • Depending on the degree of intoxication, someone who is under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicants may be incapacitated and therefore unable to consent.
  • Consent cannot be given when it is the result of any coercion, intimidation, force, or threat of harm.
  • The definition of affirmative consent does not vary based on a participant’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or relationship status
NYFA’s Sexual Misconduct Campus Climate Survey

Out of the 83 students who elected to take the survey, 82 responded to the question. Out of those 82 responses, 63.4% indicated that they were extremely aware of or were very aware of NYFA’s definition of affirmative consent. 24.4% were somewhat aware and only 3.7% were not aware of NYFA’s definition of affirmative consent.


Reporting and Awareness of NYFA Policy and Process


This section asked questions to gather information about our campus community's awareness of the reporting process and the resources available during and associated with the process.

NYFA’s amnesty policy states that the health and safety of every student at NYFA is of utmost importance. NYFA recognizes that students who have been drinking and/or using drugs (whether such use is voluntary or involuntary) at the time that violence, including but not limited to domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault occurs may be hesitant to report such incidents due to fear of potential consequences for their own conduct. NYFA strongly encourages students to report domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault to the Title IX Coordinator. A bystander acting in good faith or a reporting individual acting in good faith that discloses any incident of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault to NYFA or law enforcement will not be subject to NYFA’s Student Code of Conduct for violations of alcohol and/or drug use policies occurring at or near the time of the domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault.

NYFA’s Sexual Misconduct Campus Climate Survey

Out of the 83 students who elected to take the survey, 82 responded to this question. Out of those 82, 57.3% of the students indicated that they were extremely or were very aware of NYFA’s amnesty policy. 42.7% indicated they were somewhat aware, were a little aware, or were not at all aware of NYFA’s amnesty policy.

NYFA’s Sexual Misconduct Campus Climate Survey

Out of the 83 students who elected to take the survey, 81 responded to this question. Out of those 81, 71.6% indicated that they know how to find and/or contact the Title IX Coordinator at their campus.

Incidents


The sections asked questions about personal experiences with sexual misconduct and they responded when they were affected by those behaviors.

Specific information regarding these questions is not posted to maintain confidentiality. However, reports by NYFA students of sexual harassment, stalking, dating violence, domestic violence, and sexual assault at NYFA or NYFA-affiliated events or programs are significantly lower than rates reported by residential colleges, or colleges with large athletic programs and Greek life.

New York Film Academy Pledge


The New York Film Academy will use the results of this survey to further improve our ability to ensure a safe, healthy, and nondiscriminatory learning environment for all NYFA students on each individual campus and at an institutional level.

  • At each New York Film Academy campus, the only confidential resource available to students on-campus is the NYFA Counseling Services. This information is given to new students through NYFA’s online Sexual Respect Training and reinforced in a live presentation during New Student Orientation Week.
    NYFA’s Sexual Misconduct Campus Climate Survey
  • Based on the responses received, we understand that more time must be dedicated to educating our student body on the differences between confidentiality and privacy and the resources available. NYFA pledges to accomplish this by providing additional programming and initiatives, such as class drops-ins, flyers, and e-blasts, throughout the semesters(s) focusing on confidential and private resources.
  • NYFA pledges to increase awareness surrounding all on- and off-campus resources by expanding on and highlighting this information throughout new student orientation. When future survey participants are asked how comfortable they would be getting in touch with certain groups and organizations, NYFA hopes to receive responses from students that reflect an increased comfort level in regards to getting in touch with NYFA resources.
    NYFA’s Sexual Misconduct Campus Climate Survey
  • NYFA pledges to improve student awareness on the topics of affirmative consent and NYFA’s amnesty policy. Students first receive this information during new student orientation, but the responses to these survey questions only indicate that an average of approximately 60% of students knows or understands NYFA’s expectations about affirmative consent (63.4%) and/or amnesty (57.3%). NYFA would like this percentage to increase. NYFA will utilize the Sexual Respect Training, mandatory training for all first-semester students, to accomplish this goal.
  • NYFA pledges to continually update the Sexual Respect Training, on a semester basis, to maximize retention and understanding of the content presented, and to reflect future updates to relevant local, state, and federal laws.
  • NYFA also pledges to sign a Memorandum or Understanding (MOU) with an advocacy center based out of the Burbank/Los Angeles area that focuses on sexual misconduct prevention. The New York Campus currently has MOUs in place with New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault and with Mount Sinai Beth Israel. The South Beach Campus has an MOU in place with the Roxcy Bolton Rape Treatment Center.
  • Lastly, NYFA pledges to work towards cultivating a higher response rate for the 2022 Campus Climate Survey. NYFA plans to accomplish this goal by developing strategies to shorten the survey response window, increase follow-up communications, and the adjusting implementation date.
Over the next two years, NYFA will work to complete these action items. When an action item is completed, updates will be made to this page or email blasted to the NYFA campus community. NYFA aims to provide the first update to the campus community, regarding the above pledges, near the start of the Fall 2021 semester.




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