EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Michigan State University released a report Tuesday, saying that their campus climate has improved since 2019.

Additionally, MSU also said that there has been a “significant decrease” in sexual harassment among all students and all faculty– but how much have things actually decreased?

Background Information

Back in 2019, the university had a survey done by the Know More organization, evaluating the prevalence of Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct among men and women across campus.

It should be noted that the initial survey was conducted in the midst of the ongoing Larry Nassar scandal that rocked the nation and MSU’s campus.

Firstly, the 2022 survey includes transgender and nonbinary people as a separate category from cisgender men and women. The 2019 report included transgender men and women in the respective women and men’s categories- but non-binary people were not accounted for in 2019.

Know More stated in the 2022 report that the inclusion of non-binary and transgender people in their reports began in 2022- which does affect data in both reports.

What’s Changed?

There have been some changes that should be noted when comparing the two reports.

Overall, the “victimization experiences” of undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty/staff went down from 2019-2022.

Student Statistics

The most common form of victimization across all student populations was sexual harassment.

According to the 2022 report, 61% of undergraduate cisgender women had experienced some form of sexual harassment, compared to 65.5% of undergraduate cisgender women in 2019.

The population experiencing the highest rate of sexual harassment included both undergraduate and graduate students who identify as transgender or non-binary.

Around 72.8% of trans or non-binary undergrad students experienced sexual harassment and 65.1% of graduate trans and non-binary students faced sexual harassment.

There is no data tracking the sexual harassment of transgender or nonbinary students in 2019.

2022 Survey Victimization Prevalence

(Graph/2022 KnowMore @ MSU Campus Survey)

One student said the numbers don’t surprise him.

“It’s bad to say it’s expected, but it’s just kind of a sad reality that people are being treated like this, and we would hope for it to change,” MSU Student Christian Payumo said.

He also said that there’s still work to do.

“I think it’s getting better, more people are starting to learn what to do and starting to speak up and what to do in these situations,” he said. “But I still feel like there’s a long way to go.”

Campus and scientific lead for the survey Carrie Moylan said things seem to be heading in the right direction.

“We did see some improvements, meaning some decreases in the rates of a number of different forms of relationship violence and sexual misconduct across our community,” Moylan said.

2019 Survey Victimization Prevalence

(Graph/2019 KnowMore @ MSU Campus Survey)

The survey also tracked the “campus climate,” which the university does not define explicitly online or in the survey.

Data from the 2022 survey measured the campus climate through a variety of factors including:

  • General School Connectedness
  • Perception of Inclusive Climate
  • General perceptions of Highest Administrative Leadership
  • General Perceptions of Other University Administration
  • Perceptions of School Leadership Climate for Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response
  • Perceptions of School Leadership Climate for Relationship Violence Prevention and Response

2022 Campus Climate Survey

(Graph/2022 KnowMore @ MSU Campus Survey)

The 2022 report showed an overall increase in campus climate.

(Graph/2019 KnowMore @ MSU Campus Survey)