June 4 (UPI) -- About one-third of recent college graduates said they were "strongly" confident that their alma mater would have fully investigated a sexual assault allegation raised by them on campus, if they would have made a complaint, according to a new survey by Gallup.
On a scale of 1 to 5, from strongly disagree to strongly agree that the institution would have conducted a full investigation, 32 percent of the participants responded with a 5 and 24 percent responded with a 4.
Public college graduates were slightly more likely (34 percent) than private not-for-profit graduates (30 percent) to strongly agree that their institution would have investigated such a claim. More than one-quarter of private-college graduates said they did not know if their institution would have done a full investigation if they made a sexual assault charge.
Male graduates (34 percent) felt most confident that their school would have fully investigated their sexual assault charge while 30 percent of female said they strongly agreed such a probe would have taken place.
LGBT graduates were less confident that their claims would have been fully investigated by their university, with 25 percent saying that they strongly agreed that there would such scrutiny if a complaint was filed.
The answers, which were part of Gallup's Alumni Survey taken Oct. 24 to Nov. 7, 2019, came before Education Secretary Betsy DeVos handed down new Title IX rules that some sexual assault victim groups said will prevent more potential victims from coming forward.
The new guidelines announced in May and expected to go into effect Aug. 14 give consistent due process procedures to suspects, guarantee cross-examination of the accuser and narrow the definition of misconduct.
"Gallup data confirm that organizations must give individuals three critical experiences if they are to be truly inclusive places: individuals must feel valued and respected; that their organization values their unique strengths; and, critically, that their organization would do the right thing if they reported an issue," Gallup said.
"In order to increase reports and make universities a safer place for all students, it's crucial that students feel confident their institution would appropriately investigate these issues. That female and LGBT graduates are less confident is particularly concerning because these students are more frequently victims of non-consensual contact," Gallup said.