Viewing entries tagged
colleges

Campus Climate Survey and New Initiatives at University of Chicago

uchicago photo The University of Chicago released its Spring 2015 Climate Survey NORC Report on September 1, 2015. The NORC, an independent research corporation, conducted the Sexual Misconduct Survey: “Attitudes, Knowledge and Experience” (also referred to as the Spring 2015 Climate Survey) on behalf of the University of Chicago in April 2015.

Design of the University of Chicago’s Campus Climate Survey

It was designed by the University faculty committee, based partially on a similar survey conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology  and the “Not Alone” survey toolkit created by the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault.

Campus Climate Survey Achieved a Response Rate of 31%

All enrolled students who were at least 18 years of age at the time of the survey were invited to participate during a two-week field period that ended on April 28, 2015.  A total of 12,485 undergraduate students and graduate and professional students at  the University’s Hyde Park campus were invited to participate in the survey. They completed surveys from 3,955 students, for an overall response rate of 31.7%.

New Programs and Priorities

Campus Climate Survey After the survey was completed, the University of Chicago is making new initiatives this coming year to address issues raised by the Campus Climate Survey.  They intend to substantially redesign the content and approach for their sexual misconduct prevention training, provide training for all new graduate and professional students, and launch a student run website (umatter.uchicago.edu) that makes university policy, procedures and resources easier to access. You can view all of their initiatives here.

UC’s proposed efforts are their first steps toward addressing the results from this year's Campus Climate survey. During the fall quarter,  their Campus and Student Life (CSL) staff will bring together interested students to discuss key findings from the Spring 2015 Climate Survey with a particularly focusing on how the results can best inform the University’s prevention and education strategies. This will provide an all inclusive meeting to help improve policy and community education of sexual assault on campus between both students and staff.

You can find the Spring 2015 Climate Survey Executive Survey here.

Campus Save Act of 2013 - Five Things You Should Know About It

screenshot_341.png

Five Things You Should Know About Violence Against Women Act of 2013 and Campus Save Act of 2013

On November 25th of each year a little known date is recognized by only a few the world over.  “The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.”  This day instituted by the General Assembly of the United Nations was started in 1999 in hopes of raising public awareness of the countless women who have been attacked, assaulted, or coerced into actions against their will.

The prejudices that are launched against many women are deeply rooted practices that go back thousands of years and will take much more than a special day to change. Add to this the fact that this historical plague against women most often on college campuses and you’ll soon realize that violence against women on school campuses is an assault on our nation’s future.

Still, efforts to make such changes are being made and a modicum of success has been seen.  One of those efforts has been with the passing of the Violence Against Women Act of 2013 and the Campus Save Act both of which have been designed to slow the tide of violence against women.  While both of these documents are very encouraging steps forward in our fight against violence against women there are some things that everyone should know about them.

1. Student Training Programs

According to the 2013 Violence Against Women Act and the Campus Save Act all students will be required to attend a comprehensive “primary prevention and awareness” program where they will be clearly educated on what offenses like rape, acquaintance rape, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking entail and the school’s position on prohibiting these behaviors.

 2. New Student Discipline Requirements

The VAWA Act of 2013 also must detail the proper procedures victims should follow to preserve evidence of an assault and where the assault should be reported.  The compliance should also explain clearly the victim’s rights in these cases.

 3. Standards of Investigation

Another requirement of the VAWA Act of 2013 must also address the proper standards of investigation and conduct of student discipline proceedings in cases of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking cases.

 4. New Reporting Requirements

 The 2013 Violence Against Women Act also has new reporting requirements that every college campus must meet.  In the past, reporting of these types of assaults was also very inconsistent.  There was a lack of clarity of definition that that made those reporting campus statistics unsure.  With clear definitions listed in the VAWA Act of 2013 reporting now is clear.

In addition to the annual reporting of crimes of “forcible and non-forcible sex offenses and aggravated assaults” campuses are also required to report cases of domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking as well.

 5. The New Law Is More Inclusive

The previous violence against women act of 1994 not all women were included.  Native American women and LGBT survivor complaints were not always respected.  With the passing of this new reauthorization of the law these critical gaps have now been closed.  Today, all women who are victims of violence can get the protection that they need.

According to a December 2000 report entitled “The Sexual Victimization of College Women” published by the National Institute of Justice, a college with 10,000 students could experience as many as 350 rapes per year.  That fact along with other acts of violence against women is the very reason why the new Violence Against Women Act of 2013 is so important to the future of our women and society as a whole.

 

[Image source: STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN EVERYWHERE Speak Out Rally at Columbia Heights Plaza on 14th between Kenyon Street and Park Road, NW, Washington DC on Saturday afternoon, 9 March 2013 by Elvert Barnes PROTEST PHOTOGRAPHY]