Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Professor Darren Filson

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Rights Information

2018 Brina T Jablonski


Using panel data from 31 small, liberal arts colleges from three academic years 2014-2017, I explore how the incidence of sexual assault is related to institutional characteristics. I use the number of sexual assaults per 100 students (sexual assault ratio) as my dependent variable and the following as my independent variables: total number of undergraduate students, female to male ratio, majority racial percentage, percent accepted, percent of students awarded financial aid, cost of attendance, religious affiliation, whether Greek life is available and racial percentages. I include racial percentages as additional independent variables in two of my regressions to analyze the relationship between these percentages and the majority racial percentage. Using a linear fixed effects model, it is concluded that increasing the total number of students, majority racial percentage, and cost of attendance decreases the sexual assault ratio of a college campus at a statistically significant level. Furthermore, using an OLS linear regression model to analyze cross-sectional college variation, I find that an increase in the total number of undergraduate students, female to male ratio, and percentage of students on financial aid is correlated with a decrease in the sexual assault ratio while an increase in the cost of attendance and percentage of White students is correlated with an increase the sexual assault ratio. If the impacts can be interpreted as causal, then the results of this study can help academic institutions understand how campus climate can affect the safety of their students and also assist college administrations with improving sexual assault prevention programs.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.