Take the survey to make a difference

During the coming weeks, U students will have an opportunity to help shape resources and services on campus by taking part in three surveys.

The surveys will be sent to different groupings of students, but it is important that all who receive a particular survey participate, even if they feel the issue doesn’t apply to them, in order for the U to get a broad, comprehensive understanding of each topic being addressed. Responses are anonymous and results are aggregated to protect students’ privacy.

A link to the first survey—the 2020 Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct—will be distributed via UMail accounts to all degree-seeking students on Monday, Jan. 13.

The anonymous, confidential questionnaire gathers information about experiences with interpersonal violence, including sexual assault, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, stalking, harassment and other forms of relationship violence.

Students will have one month to complete the survey, which is conducted every two years. Students who participate will be eligible for a gift card drawing.

Information gathered through the Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct directly helps shape safety-related actions, said Lori McDonald, vice president for Student Affairs.

“This survey seeks information about experiences with interpersonal violence and awareness of reporting and support resources available at the U,” McDonald said. “The results help us understand how pervasive interpersonal violence is among our students. Based on the findings, we are able to review our services and policies to ensure they are in line with our students’ needs and experiences.”

A second survey—the National Survey of Student Engagement—will be distributed to most first-year and senior-year students in early February. The survey will be open until May 15, but students must complete it by April 1 to be eligible for a gift card drawing.

Since 2000, students at more than 1,600 colleges and universities have participated in the survey, which is conducted by Indiana University every two years.

This survey asks students about their participation in learning and personal development programs and activities on and off-campus—number of classes taken, hours worked, participation in volunteer activities, etc. Results provide benchmark data for the U that are used in its accreditation process and in institutional comparisons.

“We learn things such as how much our students work and how much time they spend in community engagement and other activities,” McDonald said. “Like the Campus Climate Survey, the findings help us design programs and services to make sure we are meeting students’ needs.”

In April, a random sample of undergraduate and graduate students will receive a final survey—the Healthy Minds Study, which is overseen by the University of Michigan.

The U last participated in this survey in 2017. It is designed to gather information about the prevalence of mental health issues among students.

As with the other surveys, results help the U shape services, programs and resources.

“We know college students face many challenges today and we really want to hear from our students to ensure we are doing all we can to support them in pursuit of their degrees,” McDonald said.