School of Professional Studies

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Chief Instructor

Mary Piecewicz


The research study investigated student perceptions and utilization of Title IX services on U.S. university and college campuses, testing the hypothesis that if students hold negative perceptions of Title IX offices, then they will not report campus sexual violence they experience to Title IX offices. There are currently high rates of sexual violence on college campuses but very low rates of reporting. Current or former U.S. college students aged 18-30 (N = 47) completed a mixed methods anonymous survey composed of Likert scale and open response questions. Participants were asked about prior interactions with Title IX offices and their perceptions of Title IX investigations (adequacy of resources for victims, helpfulness of Title IX, fairness of Title IX investigations, likelihood of Title IX complaints resulting in consequences for perpetrators). Lastly, participants were asked if they would feel comfortable referring a friend and personally reporting to Title IX, then asked to expand on their answers in an open response format. Participants expressed negative perceptions of and unwillingness to report to Title IX, citing the high perceived consequences and low perceived rewards of undergoing a Title IX investigation. Based on these findings, six recommendations were made to federal, state, and campus policy makers to improve the quality of resource available to victims of campus sexual violence, included repealing recent federal restrictions on Title IX, implementing increased victim safety measures, requiring colleges to release Title IX data, conducting campus climate surveys, increasing inter-resource collaboration, and providing accommodations outside of Title IX investigations



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