Georgetown University’s first Sexual Assault and Misconduct Climate Survey opened to the student body yesterday to promote a better understanding of the prevalence of sexual misconduct on campus.
The survey, which was announced through an email to students by University President John J. DeGioia, was initiated by the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Affirmative Action in partnership with the Office of Assessment and Decision Support and the Office of the Provost.
Students played a large role in the survey’s implementation, with administrative offices along with the Sexual Assault Working Group and the Climate Survey Working Group leading the survey’s development. Students will be able to participate in the survey until February 6th, and the survey’s final results will be published in May 2016.
The 20- to 30-minute online climate survey was garnered using a template from the Association of American Universities, and is specifically tailored to Georgetown. Twenty-seven other universities, including Harvard, Yale, Rutgers and Michigan have already utilized AAU sexual misconduct surveys.
The survey is designed not only to assess the prevalence and characteristics of sexual assault on Georgetown’s campus, but also to assess the effectiveness of the resources already in place for victims of sexual assault and misconduct. The results of the survey will be compared with other higher-education institutions and national data on sexual climate at universities.
“I am asking each of you to participate in the survey. Every response gives us important insight to enhance life here at Georgetown,” DeGioia wrote in an email to students. “Your participation in this survey will help us to better address instances of sexual assault and to fulfill our obligations to care for one another as members of this community.”
At other universities, research groups have had issues gathering enough information from students with climate surveys, which led the Georgetown working groups involved to devise methods to maximize student participation. Once the survey is submitted, some students will be entered into a drawing to win a $500 Visa gift card or one of five $100 Visa gift cards. Many students will also be offered a $10 Amazon gift card after they complete the survey.
Numerous posters and signs will be posted across campus, and a thermometer will be placed in Red Square to track the ongoing participation of the student body in order to compare Georgetown’s participation with that of other universities such as Harvard and Michigan.
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