Our Voice: Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Misconduct

Survey to Help Inform Sexual Assault Prevention Programs and Response

UNC-Chapel Hill joins 33 universities nationwide and the Association of American Universities this semester in the 2019 Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct. The survey examines student thoughts about the campus climate and experiences with sexual assault, sexual harassment, interpersonal violence and stalking. Surveys will arrive in student inboxes on February 7 from 2019CampusClimateSurvey@westat.com.

We hope every student will participate and, together, serve as our voice to guide program and resource needs within our campus community.

The University first participated and released results from this survey in 2015. By participating in the survey four years later, we have the unique ability to conduct long-term analysis of sexual misconduct at Carolina. Our students will also have the opportunity to inform aggregate data from all participating schools, which will be provided to researchers nationwide to inform policies and programming.

The list of frequently asked questions below offers more information about the survey. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Katie Nolan. The Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office is helping the University launch the survey. Learn more about the Office.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. When does the survey open and close?
    The survey is available for 30 days, from February 7 until March 8.
  2. How do students access the survey?
    Students will receive four separate emails with individualized links to the survey from 2019CampusClimateSurvey@westat.com. The subject line of the survey will always start with “Our Voice.” Because we are unable to identify whether students have completed the survey, students will receive all four emails even if they have submitted responses. The email account the emails will be sent from is external to UNC-Chapel Hill and hosted by Westat, a social science research firm that the University partnered with to administer the survey. Westat will not use your email address for any other purposes and will treat your survey responses as confidential.
  3. How long does the survey take to complete?
    The length of time required to complete the survey can vary by individual; however, we expect most students to be able to complete the survey in 20 minutes.
  4. What types of questions will the survey ask?
    The survey includes questions on knowledge and beliefs about social situations, perceptions related to sexual misconduct at UNC-Chapel Hill and understanding of resources available at the University. The survey also asks about personal experience with sexual misconduct, such as harassment, sexual assault, interpersonal violence and stalking. The questions asked may be uncomfortable for some students because of the focus of this survey. Although the questions are designed to help the University gain clarity on responses, please know that student health is the top priority. Students are encouraged to seek resources and support, if needed. Links to information on how to get help appear on each page of the survey. Students can skip any question they are not comfortable answering and can exit the survey at any time.
  5. Who can take the survey?
    Undergraduate, graduate and professional students who are enrolled at the University are invited to take the survey. This includes part-time students, exchange students and non-degree seeking students.
  6. Is the survey confidential?
    Confidentiality is extremely important. When a student completes the survey, the link between the student’s survey responses and their email and IP addresses will be broken so that no one will be able to connect their email or IP address with their survey responses. Information on who completed the survey will not be provided to the University or any others. The results will be presented in summary form so no individual can be identified. However, if survey administrators learn about child abuse or about a threat of harm to yourself or others, administrators are obligated to report it to the authorities. Additional information about confidentiality is available through the online survey.
  7. Where can students get help, if needed?
    Students can find contact information and details about resources throughout this website. Information on how to get help also appears on each page of the survey. Students can skip any question they are not comfortable answering and can exit the survey at any time.
  8. What will the University do with responses?
    Just as we released the 2015 campus-specific findings, the University will make data from the survey publically available in fall 2019. Because the University participated in the AAU’s 2015 Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct, we can also use the data to conduct a long-term analysis of sexual misconduct at Carolina. Aggregate data will be provided to researchers nationwide to help inform policies and programming.
  9. What are the incentives?
    In addition to helping the University assess awareness and effectiveness of campus resources and policies, modest material incentives are offered to encourage student participation as is common with similar surveys. Students are randomly placed into one of two incentive categories. Some students who complete the survey will receive a $5 Amazon gift card and others are entered into a drawing for $500. For those students who are entered into the drawing, by going to the website, you will be entered to win the prize. We hope you will decide to complete the survey, but you are eligible for the drawing whether or not you finish the survey.
  10. Who created the survey?
    The survey was created by Westat and a survey design team comprised of experts from several campuses across the country, including UNC-Chapel Hill professor Dr. Audrey Pettifor. Dr. Pettifor is a professor in the Department of Epidemiology within the Gillings School of Global Public Health.
  11. What is the AAU? What is Westat?
    The Association of American Universities comprises institutions across that country that help shape policy for higher education, science, and innovation; promote best practices in undergraduate and graduate education; and strengthen the contributions of research universities to society. UNC-Chapel Hill is a member of the AAU. Westat is a leading social science research firm. Westat also administered the survey in 2015.
  12. What were key findings from the 2015 data?
    In 2015, AAU and Westat surveyed more than 150,000 students at 27 universities, including at UNC-Chapel Hill. Among the key findings at UNC-Chapel Hill were that a majority of students were knowledgeable about where to get help, but reporting rates for incidents were low. Survey data also showed that there was a high frequency of incidents involving alcohol. Although we know that many of our students live in residence halls and fraternity and sorority housing, there was a high frequency of incidents in those locations. Additionally, data showed that students who identified as transgender, genderqueer and gender non-conforming, lesbian, gay, and bisexual students, as well as students with disabilities and American Indian/Alaskan Native students, reported experiencing sexual misconduct at higher rates. The data also identified a need for additional programming on sexual misconduct.
  13. What actions has the University taken to address findings?
    – The 2015 survey data informed programming and resource planning, including the recommendations of the University’s Prevention Task Force that was underway at the time, but has since concluded.
    – Since the survey, the University has created several full-time positions to support existing staff, including an additional report and response coordinator and gender violence services coordinator. These positions often serve as first points of contact for students impacted by misconduct. We hope that the additional options increase comfort with seeking help and the accessibility of resources.
    – The University has also invested in the growth of existing and new training programs, including HAVEN, which is a training that equips students and employees with the tools to be an ally to someone impacted by sexual misconduct; One Act bystander intervention skills training; Delta Advocates program for sororities and fraternities; and Safe Zone training, which is a program designed to create a network of allies for people who identify as part of the LGBTIQA+ community. The University also pilot tested a skills course for undergraduate students in fall 2018 called First Year Thriving/Education 101. The course addresses interpersonal violence and related forms of misconduct. This semester, there will be 25 sections of the course.
    View 2015 survey findings.
  14. When will survey results be released?
    Survey results will be publicly released in fall 2019 and made available on this website.