ETSU is conducting an anonymous sexual misconduct survey from March 16 to April 3 to gather information and assess the student body’s knowledge about resources available to victims of sexual assault.
“The purpose of the survey is to get a feel amongst our student body about the campus climate related to sexual misconduct issues,” Dean of Students Jeff Howard said. “So, it’s really to help us gage what things maybe we’re doing well, where there are areas of improvement to help us moving forward over the next couple of years.”
Howard said the survey is intended to gather information about students’ experiences with sexual assault and to evaluate students’ awareness of the options available to them if they become a victim and how to proceed when making a report.
The university is hoping to incentivize student participation by giving individuals who complete the survey the opportunity to enter their information in a separate webpage for the chance to win a $50 gift certificate to the bookstore.
Howard said campuses are now encouraged to monitor their climate through surveys every two years, and the data gathered by these surveys will help broadly influence a number of decisions made by the university.
“I think it will help inform several areas,” Howard said. “Are we doing everything we can to assist students in reporting incidents of sexual misconduct? Are we doing everything we can in terms of interim measures to assist them if they are the victim of an incident? Are resources readily available?”
Howard said the survey will also point out opportunities for sexual misconduct education and gage students’ feelings and knowledge about issues like bystander intervention.
ETSU is participating in this survey alongside all other Tennessee Board of Regents institutions, Howard said. “We will be able to look at our results compared to that of our other four-year TBR institutions and also look at the results from the community college system and kind of see where we are compared to some of our peer institutions in the state.”
Howard said TBR officials will be analyzing the data to evaluate how students score on a system-wide scale.
The university’s sexual misconduct survey is part of a larger initiative recently launched by the university to combat sexual assault on the ETSU campus, Howard said. “We have over the past several years, probably 2012 forward, been looking at sexual misconduct broadly on our campus.”
The university has done a number of things as part of this initiative, including creating a sexual misconduct leadership team composed of faculty, staff and students to monitor educational efforts and promote awareness of sexual assault on campus, Howard said.
“It’s all an effort to raise awareness of resources and to raise awareness of reporting options. I think the campus community can look to see more and more education efforts on the campus over the next several years.”