1 out of 3 college students say they were sexually assaulted on this campus

More than one-third of female students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill were sexually assaulted during their undergraduate years, according to a survey released this week.

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The shocking revelation surrounding one of America's first public institutions of higher education derived from a 2019 survey by the Association of American Universities which documented the prevalence of sexual assault and misconduct amongst 33 major colleges and universities.

UNC Chapel Hill was one of the 33 out of 62 public and private institutions in the association, that elected to participate in the survey, refers to the academic year beginning with the Fall 2018 term, and release data specific to their campus.

The survey found:

  • Nearly 20 percent of undergraduate women reported experienced nonconsensual sexual penetration since entering college with over 26 percent of women saying they experienced non-consensual sexual touching.
  • Overall, roughly 35 percent of undergraduate women at UNC said they had experienced nonconsensual sexual touching or penetration in college.
  • The survey, although showing a higher prevalence of sexual misconduct against women, indicated that men were also impacted. Roughly 10 percent of undergraduate males reported experiencing nonconsensual penetration or sexual touching.

"The data are very concerning and reinforce what we know to be true both on our campus and across the country: sexual assault and sexual harassment are serious problems that deeply affect our community, Interim Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz wrote in a statement to the community, adding that now more than ever, our culture needs to change.

Among the 33 schools that participated in the survey are Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Virginia. This list also included half of the Ivy League’s eight members: Harvard, Yale and Brown universities as well as the University of Pennsylvania.

In comparison:

  • Georgetown University: 31.6 percent of women and 11.6 percent of men say they were sexually assaulted.
  • Yale University: 28.4 percent of women and 10.4 percent of men say they were sexually assaulted.
  • University of Virginia: 25.5  percent of women and 7.9 percent of men say they were sexually assaulted.
  • Brown University: 24.5 percent of women and 8 percent of men reported experiencing sexual assault.
  • Harvard University: 24 percent of women and 8.4 percent of men say they were sexually assaulted.
  • Johns Hopkins University: 23.7 percent of women and 7.2 percent of men say they were sexually assaulted.

The data was compiled by the AAU, a binational organization of leading research universities. The organization developed the survey in 2014 in an effort to help universities better understand the attitudes and experiences of their students with respect to sexual assault and sexual misconduct.

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Built in 1793, tuition costs approximately $24,266 for North Carolina residents and $52,026 for out of state students.

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This story has been updated to reflect the correct cost of in-state tuition.