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News, University News

U. to take part in sexual assault survey

Survey will evaluate efforts to reduce sexual assault on college campuses around U.S.

Senior Staff Writer
Thursday, October 4, 2018

Along with 32 other institutions, the University will conduct the AAU Campus Climate Survey and compare results to data collected on campus in 2015. Survey results showed that 25 percent of undergraduate women reported having experienced sexual assault since enrolling at Brown.

The University announced today that it will participate in the Association of American Universities sexual assault and misconduct survey in the spring of 2019 with 32 other institutions.

The survey will be a follow-up to the 2015 AAU Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Misconduct, one of the most expansive studies of its kind. The University previously participated in the 2015 survey, which featured 26 other institutions, The Herald reported.

Around 870,000 graduate, undergraduate and professional students will be eligible to take the survey and constitute a larger group of possible respondents than the initial study included.

“One of the goals is to collect data that allows for comparisons to the 2015 results,” so the survey will have similar questions to the initial survey, wrote Director of News and Editorial Development Brian Clark in an email to The Herald.

The AAU chose to conduct the survey four years after the first because it provides institutions “the opportunity to make effective use of the data they collect in a comprehensive survey,” wrote Melissa Luke, AAU communications officer, adding that it allows other data to be collected in the interim.

“The opportunity to follow up with Brown students through this new survey will enable us to evaluate our efforts in the context of a national call to action around reducing sexual misconduct,” Title IX program officer Rene Davis said in an University statement.

According to Clark, the survey will be open to all undergraduate, graduate and medical students and will be voluntary and anonymous.

The 2015 survey found that approximately 25.7 percent of undergraduates are transgender, genderqueer, gender non-conforming, questioning or non-listed and 25 percent of undergraduate women reported having experienced sexual assault since enrolling at Brown, The Herald previously reported.

Other AAU institutions participating in the survey include Harvard, Yale, Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Institutions that participate in the survey do so on a voluntary basis, Luke wrote.

“Nearly all AAU universities not participating in the survey are either carrying out their own surveys or participating in state university system surveys,” she wrote.

In 2015, students who completed the initial survey were given $5 gift certificates as an incentive, The Herald previously reported.

“Achieving as high a response rate as possible is essential,” Clark wrote, adding that the University is working with the AAU and other institutions to decide what works best to encourage students to take the survey.

Results from the survey will be released in fall 2019.

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