Frequently Asked Questions about the 2017 Sexual Assault Climate Survey
What is the 2017 Sexual Assault Climate Survey?
This survey is designed to measure the campus climate regarding sexual harassment and sexual violence (sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and stalking).
Over the past few years, colleges and universities across the country have been administering campus climate surveys on sexual violence. Union College is now administering a climate survey to the entire student community.
What is Union’s survey instrument for the 2017 survey?
Union’s survey instrument was developed by the Higher Education Data Sharing Consortium (HEDS). HEDS is a consortium of private colleges and universities that collaboratively share, analyze, and use data of all kinds to advance their institutional missions. In this case, the HEDS Sexual Assault Climate Survey data will be used to create a comprehensive picture of the campus climate here at Union with regards to sexual violence issues. The survey has been used at many other universities including Hamilton College, Colgate University, and Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
What data was Union trying to gather and why?
Union’s goal is to end sexual violence and harassment in our community. The information students share in this survey will help the university in this effort.
This survey is designed to assess perceptions and behaviors related to a wide range of issues regarding sexual harassment and violence that impact Union students. With data about our students’ experiences, as well as our community’s perceptions and knowledge around these issues, we can better inform our efforts to end sexual harassment and violence at Union College.
I have not experienced sexual harassment or sexual assault while at Union. Should I still take this survey?
Absolutely! This survey is about more than just victimization rates. We want to hear from every single student as sexual harassment and violence impacts us all.
How do I take the survey?
Every student will receive an email with a unique link to the survey on Sunday, April 2, 2017 (please check your spam folder if you do not see it in your inbox). This link is only active between April 2 and April 30, 2017.
If you have not completed the survey, you will receive additional reminder emails. You can expect to see additional encouragement to take the survey around campus as well.
Will my answers be confidential?
Yes! Completely confidential.
After you complete the survey, any personal information will be severed from the rest of the data, so responses will not be connected to identifying information from that point forward.
Am I required to take this survey?
No. While we encourage every student to complete the survey, you do not have to participate.
If you do participate, you may skip any question you are not comfortable answering. You may also exit the survey at any time and return to complete it as long as it is before the survey close date on April 30, 2017.
How long will the survey take to complete?
This survey usually takes most people less than 15 minutes to complete. Your time could vary depending on how much information you choose to provide. If you are not able to complete the survey in one sitting, the system will allow you to return and continue later, however, it’s best to be sure you have enough time to fill the entire survey out!
What will Union do with the results?
Once we collect the data it will be synthesized to create an executive summary. This work will likely take place over the remainder of the spring and summer. From this summary, the Task Force will create an Action Plan with three to five items to further our efforts around sexual violence prevention and response, including, but not limited to:
- Data comparisons with peer institutions
- What current offices or programs will be ameliorated to improve effectiveness
- What new resources or programs are needed and a timeline for their addition
- What communities are in need of additional programs and resources
- Identify additional forums for sharing the data with the community
Are there any incentives associated with completing this survey?
Did you know that when Harvard administered their survey in 2015 they achieved 54% participation? We’re as competitive as the next person, so beating Harvard sounds good to us! So, other than the satisfaction of being #1… If we hit an overall rate of 54%, we will supply ice cream to the entire campus! The Title IX Office will pay for the ice cream truck to deliver goodies to all our students for FREE!
I'm really motivated to take the survey now! Does the survey work on all browsers and handheld devices?
I am having technical difficulties (for example, I lost my link to the survey, etc.). What should I do?
If you have any technical or logistical questions about this study, please contact Kirsten Skillrud, Research Analyst and Survey Manager at the Higher Education Data Sharing Consortium at email@example.com.
I still have questions about Union’s Sexual Assault Climate Survey or I would like to talk to someone about sexual harassment and sexual violence. Who should I contact?
If you have questions or comments about Union’s administration or promotion of this survey, please send an email to Melissa Kelley, firstname.lastname@example.org, Union’s Title IX Coordinator.
If you would like to make a report of sexual misconduct, please contact Dr. Kelley, email@example.com, as well.
If you would like to speak to a confidential resource, you can call the Counseling Center at (518) 388-6161.
Campus Climate Survey 2017 - Results
Union College is committed to promoting a campus environment where sexual misconduct in all forms is strictly prohibited and recognized as unacceptable. The health and safety of our campus is always of the utmost importance. Union College takes all reports of sexual misconduct seriously and we encourage anyone who has experienced sexual misconduct to seek help and report those instances. We educate members of our campus community in a multitude of ways about their role in ensuring a safe and healthy campus.
The Title IX Office, in coordination with the HEDS Consortium, sent the HEDS Sexual Assault Survey to all Union students who were at least 18 years of age and enrolled during the spring 2017 trimester. 410 of those students (19%) completed the survey.
This survey serves as a means to collect a snapshot of experiences of the students that responded. 81% of the students receiving the survey chose not to participate. Those who did do not represent a random sample. While there is the potential for various forms of what researchers call “non-response error” and limitations as to what we can conclude from the data, these same data provide important information about the experience of and feelings of the students who did choose to participate. These experiences and feelings help us develop additional ways of ensuring a safe and healthy campus.
At Union College, we want to prevent all instances of sexual misconduct and assault. We are committed to providing educational programming to communicate that our campus is intolerant to interpersonal violence and to provide awareness of each individual’s role in ensuring a safe and healthy campus. We also actively promote the resources for support available to those who are affected by sexual misconduct. We have private and confidential resources available on campus for students and provide referrals to resources in our greater community as well. In addition, anyone can use our anonymous Sexual Misconduct Incident Report to report an incident of sexual misconduct.