Last month, a study surveying
sexual misconduct on 13 of the 14 campuses in the University of Texas systems found that 15 percent of female undergrads
at UT Austin say they've been raped. That same report found that 75 percent of sexual misconduct incidents at UT's San Antonio branch go unreported — a startling three points higher than the average number of unreported incidents at UT system campuses.
The Cultivating Learning and Safe Environments study, put on by the School of Social Work at UT Austin, also found that of the 3,385 UTSA students who participated in the study, 12 percent of all students and 15 percent of female undergrads reported having experienced stalking; 10 percent of students experienced unwanted sexual touching; and 6 percent of students reported having experienced rape.
According to the study's key findings, 74 percent of victims and 85 percent of non-victims reported believing that UTSA would take a report of sexual harassment, stalking, domestic abuse, violence or unwanted sexual contact seriously. However, only 69 percent of victims of 82 percent of non-victims believed that UTSA would support a person who made a report of victimization.
The survey also points out that LGBTQ+ students are victimized at a rate disproportionate to their population size, and while making up a minority of the student body, LGBTQ+ students make a significant percentage of students who report having experienced sexual misconduct.
This comes just over a month after then-UTSA President Ricardo Romo was put on leave
for inappropriate sexual conduct, or, according to Romo: "the way I embraced women made them uncomfortable."
Following the report's release, UTSA interim president Pedro Reyes called for the immediate formation of a campus task force and pledged to continue to use every resource available to ensure the wellbeing of students.
In an email
to the student body, Reyes said that even one incident of sexual assault or harassment is one too many, and that UTSA must have a zero tolerance policy regarding sexual misconduct.
"Sexual misconduct is not something we should talk about once a year during a 'national recognition' month or when you first enter college," Reyes wrote. "It is something we should talk about every day until we have changed the culture."