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IU Bloomington student survey gauging knowledge, beliefs about sexual assault

  • Nov. 13, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington students are receiving email messages this week asking them to participate in an anonymous survey regarding what they know and think about sexual assault.

All undergraduate and graduate students who are 18 or older are being invited to respond to the IU Bloomington Community Attitudes and Experiences with Sexual Assault survey. The survey will close Dec. 2.

The purpose of the campus climate survey is to gain an understanding of the prevalence of sexual assault and other sexual misconduct on campus, to find out how students perceive Indiana University’s response to issues of sexual assault, and to learn whether students are confident in intervening as bystanders to sexual assault. Results will provide IU officials with knowledge to support sexual assault prevention and response efforts.

“Student voice and experiences are a critical component of creating a safe environment on campus,” said Leslie Fasone, assistant dean of students for women’s and gender affairs. “This survey is an opportunity for students to share their experiences, opinions and concerns with the IU Bloomington administration to help inform the campus’s future.”

The survey is sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the IU Student Welfare Initiative and the IU Women’s Philanthropy Council, and it is being conducted by the Dean of Students Office and The Kinsey Institute. These offices have been coordinating for more than a year to develop this survey, as part of an ongoing sexual assault research and prevention effort.

The survey is anonymous, and no identifying information will be connected to student responses. A third party is administering the survey to ensure confidence in its anonymity. Results will be shared with the campus community in early spring.

Completing the survey will take most students 15 to 20 minutes. Students who complete the survey will be entered in a drawing to win one of 400 $50 Amazon.com gift cards.

The survey aligns with recommendations by the White House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault, which in an April 2014 report called for colleges and universities to survey their students to learn more about the extent of sexual assault on campuses.

While many universities are conducting climate surveys, the Indiana University survey is unusual in that it is both an administrative and an academic undertaking, developed and administered in collaboration with Justin Garcia, assistant professor of gender studies and director of education and research training at The Kinsey Institute.

Indiana University is also rolling out participation in the national “It’s On Us” campaign to end sexual violence on all its campuses. IU is encouraging students, faculty, staff and alumni to take the “It’s On Us” pledge and to think about creative ways to involve the campaign with campus activities and organizations. Information about the campaign and an "It's On Us" branding kit for use by IU campuses, schools, departments, centers and groups is available online.

This semester, IU launched a comprehensive Student Welfare Initiative to coordinate and intensify university-wide efforts to prevent and respond to sexual assault, violence and misconduct. Emily Springston, the university’s chief student welfare and Title IX officer, heads the initiative. Last week, the university was awarded a one-year, $165,000 Indiana State Department of Health grant to expand and coordinate its rape prevention and education initiatives.

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Mark Land

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Ryan Piurek

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