Are You Prepared to Conduct a Campus Climate Survey?

Posted by Shelley Kilpatrick on 1 June 2016 |

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The Problem of Sexual Violence on Campus

climate surveyIn recent years, numerous studies and surveys have concluded that sexual victimization data from the federal Clery Act significantly understates the true scope of the challenge of sexual violence on campuses.  Over the last 30 years, the prevalence of sexual violence on campus has remained virtually unchanged—despite the efforts put forth by colleges and universities to reduce it.

In fact, the Association of American Universities (AAU) Campus Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct found:

  • Since enrolling at their university, 11.7 percent of students that participated in the survey experienced nonconsensual sexual contact.
  • Only five to 28 percent of the survey respondents reported sexual misconduct to campus authorities or law enforcement.
  • About half of the students who responded witnessed a drunk person heading for a sexual encounter, but most didn’t do anything to intervene.

Part of the problem is a lack of information about how students feel about the climate on their specific campus. Plus, campuses haven’t had a reliable method for measuring the success of their prevention programs.

Why are Higher Education Institutions Turning to Campus Climate Surveys?

Campus climate surveys are rapidly increasing in popularity. The surveys can provide institutions with better—and more information—to understand the true scope of the issue and combat sexual violence.

As a result, academic researchers, the Obama Administration and Congress have been leading the way forward to advance awareness and adoption of campus climate surveys. In fact, Congress is currently considering the Campus Safety and Accountability Act (CASA)—which mandates campus climate surveys.

Questions About Campus Climate Surveys

But because climate surveys are new for many institutions, they aren’t sure about the best way to implement them across their campus—which leads to a lot of questions such as:

  • What types of questions should the survey contain?
  • What’s the best way to administer the survey?
  • How can campuses get students to participate?
  • When should the survey be administered?
  • What demographic information should be collected?
  • Should information be gathered on offenders?

To help answer these important questions, we teamed up with campus safety expert S. Daniel Carter to create a whitepaper that addresses best practices for conducting campus climate surveys. In the whitepaper, Carter reviews the history of sexual violence on campus, in addition to exploring what types of questions to ask, and how to ask them without being too invasive. He also reveals which type of approach to take and why it’s a better option.

Download the whitepaper now to get answers to your questions about conducting a campus climate survey.

download campus climate survey whitepaper

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