Title IX

Student Campus Climate Survey

Hofstra Policy | What is Consent | Resources & Support for Students

Executive Summary

Hofstra University is committed to the well-being and safety of all students and the University community, as well as to our well-established procedures on sexual assault prevention and adjudication. Our comprehensive program is designed to protect all members of our community and to provide a full and fair process for adjudicating any complaints that arise.

As a part of that commitment and in compliance with New York State’s Enough is Enough law, Hofstra University conducted a campus climate assessment regarding sexual assault and relationship violence every other spring since 2017, with the most recent administration in spring 2023. These assessments are designed to ascertain student experience with and knowledge of sexual assault and relationship violence prevention at Hofstra, including reporting and adjudicatory processes at Hofstra, the Title IX Coordinator’s role, campus policies addressing sexual assault and relationship violence, the availability of resources on and off campus, the prevalence of misconduct, student bystander attitudes and behaviors, and experiences with reporting via Hofstra’s processes.

The 2023 survey, for which precautionary measures were taken to enhance individual confidentiality and the de-identification of data, was available from March 3 to March 17, 2023. All enrolled Hofstra University students aged 18 or older (9,539 students) were invited to participate via email and various other means. Ten percent, or 930 students, responded overall.

Although based on the response rate the results of the survey are not generalizable to the entire student body, the results are informative and instructive regarding the climate at Hofstra University relating to sexual violence prevention and response.

Results of the 2023 survey indicated that:

  • Student awareness remains strong as it relates to familiarity with policies and procedures addressing sexual assault and relationship violence at Hofstra University, including the definition of Affirmative Consent,
    • Students indicate good awareness of the role of the Title IX Coordinator,
    • The majority of students know how to help a friend who may be experiencing sexual misconduct, and two in three students know how and where to report incidents,
    • Students indicate knowledge of additional on campus resources such as Public Safety and Student Counseling Services as well as off campus resources;
  • Responding students at Hofstra report a lower prevalence of sexual assault compared to the national average among all undergraduate and graduate students.
  • The majority of students indicate strong awareness of bystander intervention strategies and would intervene to help a student at risk of sexual misconduct,
    • More specifically, students indicated that they would notify Public Safety, or ask if the person appearing to be at risk needs help;
  • Students who report incidences of sexual misconduct, indicated the reasons for doing so was to prevent reoccurrence and improve campus safety.

Hofstra will use these survey results as part of its ongoing efforts to provide students with information and support relating to sexual assault and relationship violence as well as improving their reporting experiences.

The University will conduct the next student climate survey relating to sexual assault and relationship violence in spring 2025.

Affirmative Consent is a knowing, voluntary, and mutual decision among all participants to engage in sexual activity. Affirmative Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create clear permission regarding willingness to engage in the sexual activity. Silence or lack of resistance, in and of itself, does not demonstrate consent. The definition of Affirmative Consent does not vary based upon a participant’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

  • Affirmative Consent to any sexual act or prior consensual sexual activity between or with any party does not necessarily constitute Affirmative Consent to any other sexual act.
  • Affirmative Consent is required regardless of whether the person initiating the act is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
  • Affirmative Consent may be initially given but withdrawn at any time.
  • Affirmative 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. Students who are charged with initiating sexual activity without consent cannot use as a defense that they themselves were under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol at the time they committed the violation.
  • Affirmative Consent cannot be given when it is the result of any coercion, intimidation, force, or threat of harm.
  • When Affirmative Consent is withdrawn, or can no longer be given, sexual activity must stop.

It is the responsibility of the student who initiates sexual contact to obtain this Affirmative Consent; in other words, to confirm that the person with whom the student is involved has consented to engage in a sexual activity.

Lack of Affirmative Consent exists where the accused knew, or a reasonable person in the position of the accused should have known, of the other person’s inability to consent. For example, there is no Affirmative Consent where the  accused knew, or a reasonable person in the position of the accused should have known, that the other individual was unable to make an informed rational judgment due to his or her use of alcohol or other drugs.