Campus Climate survey gauges student attitudes toward Title IX concerns

Departing from the typical surveys that regularly materialize in student and faculty Zimbra accounts, the recent Campus Climate survey measures a complicated dimension of the student experience: sexual violence.

Beginning March 27, students will have two weeks to take the survey, which is aimed at “understand[ing] student perspectives and experiences related to sexual violence,” according to the Dean of Students Office.

According to Vice President of Student Affairs Lisa Kirkpatrick, the survey is one of several tools the Dean’s office uses to gauge how to better reach out to students and assess how resources should be allocated within the community.

“We’ve launched this during sexual assault awareness month because doing the campus climate survey is as educational as the rest of the programs are in terms of bringing this to people’s attention and putting it on their radar and really getting them to think deeply about it,

Dr. Kirkpatrick said.

College campuses across the nation have implemented surveys like this one to better understand their student bodies, and mandating them has been the subject of both state and federal legislation.

“This is something that many colleges and universities are undertaking. It’s a best practice.” Kirkpatrick said. “It also is something that you can find in federal legislation that hasn’t been passed yet but could be.”

Kirkpatrick acknowledged that the survey would be difficult for students due to the sensitive nature of the topic, but stressed the importance of their contribution to the success of the survey.

“We need students’ participation in the survey in order for it to work for us,” Kirkpatrick said. “It does take some concentration; it’s an uncomfortable and challenging topic and everybody has to decide if they feel comfortable completing it. ”

Fliers promoting the campus survey emphasize incentives for taking the survey, including a chance to win bluetooth headphones, Keurigs and wireless chargers, but Kirkpatrick said that students should be motivated by the opportunity to help stop sexual violence on campus.

“I think the incentive for the student body besides cool stuff is that they know that the only way we are going to stop sexual violence on college campuses, and quite frankly, in our country is if they step up and have their voices heard and contribute to solving the problem,” Kirkpatrick said.