By: Justin Worthing ~Staff Writer~
Xavier is conducting its fourth annual Campus Climate Survey to measure student, faculty and staff awareness of campus sexual assault programs, knowledge of appropriate sexual harassment responses and perception of sexual assault on campus, among other factors. Title IX coordinator Kate Lawson encourages all students, faculty and staff to complete the brief survey by 5 p.m. on April 30 at Xavier’s Title IX’s website (xavier.edu/titleix).
Colleges and universities across the country have used climate surveys to evaluate the effectiveness of their sexual assault prevention programs. The use of these surveys has been endorsed by the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, the Department of Education and sexual assault prevention experts.
Xavier first used the survey to gauge campus awareness of sexual assault issues and resources in Fall 2012. At that time, the survey reported that 57 percent of students knew to whom to report sexual assault. In the last climate survey, Spring 2014, the percentage increased to 62.
Faculty and staff also reported increased awareness of sexual assault resources over the past two years: faculty and staff awareness rose from 70 percent in 2012 to 84 percent in 2014.
The survey also asks respondents about how familiar they are with Xavier’s policy on sex discrimination and sexual harassment. Comparisons with previous surveys also showed an increasing trend in campus awareness of such policies, especially faculty and staff awareness. The number of employees unfamiliar with university policies dropped from 19 percent to six percent over the past two years.
According to Lawson, the results of previous climate surveys have prompted development and implementation of different “prevention and response efforts,” including the Student Wellness Advocacy Group (SWAG), Xavier’s Live the Commitment bystander engagement campaign and Xavier’s Gender-Based & Sexual Misconduct Reporting and Support Options resource sheet for student use.
“Participant responses directly impact Xavier’s future efforts to comprehensively address sexual harassment and sexual violence by guiding program development, structure and availability of support resources and services and depth and breadth of Xavier’s outreach, training and education efforts,” Lawson said in an e-mail.
To participate in the survey, or to view the results of previous climate surveys, visit xavier.edu/titleix.