Mar. 24, 2017

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Kalamazoo, MI

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Est. 1877

Letters

Letter: Why You Should Take the Sexual Assault Campus Climate Survey

From Renee Boelcke, Title IX Coordinator; Anne Dueweke, Director of Institutional Research; Mickey McDonald, Provost; and Sarah Westfall, Dean of Students 

According to a poll taken this year by the Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation, 25 percent of young women and 7 percent of young men reported unwanted sexual incidents while in college. Similar findings have been reported by various organizations, including the Association of American Universities (AAU), which found that more than 1 in 5 female students experienced some form of sexual assault.

Given the prevalence of sexual assault in college, institutions across the country, including Kalamazoo College, are taking steps to learn more about how sexual assault manifests on our campuses in order to create programs, strategies, and policies to reduce the rate of sexual assault and foster a climate of sexual safety and respect.

To that end, K is currently surveying students about our campus climate for sexual assault. Students were invited to take the survey via email on Monday of 8th week, and the survey will run for the rest of the quarter.

To get an accurate picture of sexual assault at K, it is important to have a high response rate. We hope to hear from as many students as possible; the survey is relevant to all students, whether or not their lives have been touched by sexual assault. In addition to asking about incidents of sexual assault, the survey also asks about overall campus climate.

Campus climate plays a big role in the rate of sexual assault, so having many different students reporting their perceptions about K’s climate will provide valuable information for addressing the problem. President Wilson-Oyelaran has pledged to donate $1500 to the YWCA’s Domestic Assault Program if we achieve a response rate of 50 percent or higher.

The survey is being administered by a third party, the Higher Education Data Sharing (HEDS) Consortium, and is designed so that there is no way to identify respondents. In addition to receiving data about K, we will also be able to compare our results to those of similar schools participating through HEDS.

For more information on the survey, please contact Renee Boelcke, Anne Dueweke, Mickey McDonald, or Sarah Westfall.

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