UI to conduct first-ever sexual assault campus climate survey


By Abigale Svoboda

The University will conduct its first campus climate survey on sexual assault this fall.

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Renee Romano, who helped organized the survey, emailed students Tuesday morning inviting them to participate in the survey. SO

“It’s also going to ask, ‘do you feel the University provides enough resources? Do you feel you have access to resources? Do you know where to get those resources?’” said Matt Hill, Illinois Student Senate vice president-external. “It really measures all the different factors in the sexual assault issue.”

Hill said the University created the survey after a decision to opt out of a similar American Association of Universities survey. The University chose not to participate in the survey because it was expensive and less in-depth than the University’s own.

Instead, Romano put together a team to develop the University’s own, more comprehensive survey.

“It’s a pretty comprehensive survey a group of researchers and professors at our University have been working to compile,” Hill said.

The email inviting students to participate in the survey — which addresses each recipient by their own name — states the University is doing “everything it can” to educate students about sexual misconduct and prevent sexual misconduct, in addition to addressing problems that arise.

The aim of the survey is to help the University get a better understanding of how sexual assault and misconduct occurs on campus and how it can be prevented. In the email, Romano states the survey is consistent with the goals and mission of the White House’s “It’s On Us” campaign but the two are not affiliated.

“The first step in addressing this issue on our campus is to learn about the experiences of our students and their knowledge of campus resources,” Romano said in the email.

Depending on a participant’s experience, the survey will take anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes to complete. SO

The survey is not connected to participants’ names or University Identification Number, making it completely anonymous.

Hill said students who did not receive the email previously indicated to the Institutional Review Board that they would not be interested in participating in University research or surveys. The Institutional Review Board is composed of campus members who are charged with approving any research conducted at the University. SO

“Their goal is to make sure any research participants are protected and safe,” Hill said.

Students can participate in the survey until Nov. 20. SOThe Illinois Student Senate will host an informational table on the Main Quad from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday and will distribute more information while the survey is available.

Students who participate in the survey will also have the opportunity to enter into a lottery to win one of 100 gift cards, ranging in value from $80 to $20. According to the email, if 20 percent of students participate — which is expected — the odds of winning will be one in 88.

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Correction: A previous version of this article included a quote that alluded to survey participants being asked if they have been a victim of sexual assault. After discovering that this is inaccurate The Daily Illini removed the quote. We apologize for any confusion.