UF among 27 universities to launch campus survey on sexual assault

Published: March 31 2015


The University of Florida on Thursday will launch an online survey of 12,000 students in an effort to gauge the overall mindset on campus regarding sexual assault and related behaviors.

The Campus Climate Survey, which is voluntary and strictly confidential, will be hosted by the commercial research firm Westat. Students who have been selected for the survey will receive an email invitation from UF President Kent Fuchs on Thursday.

By taking part in the UF Campus Climate Survey, students may help pave the way to enhance programs and services that support those who encounter sexual assault situations and eventually help prevent future instances.

The estimated time to complete the survey is 20 to 30 minutes. Some participating students will receive $5 Amazon gift cards.

UF is one of 27 Association of American Universities institutions participating in the survey this spring. In addition to learning more about the students’ perception of the climate on campus, the survey will also ask about their personal experience with sexual misconduct, such as harassment, sexual assault and other forms of violence. The results will be used to guide policies to encourage a healthy, safe and nondiscriminatory environment on campus.

“Our primary purpose in conducting this survey is to help our institutions gain a better understanding of this complex problem on their own campuses as well as nationally,” AAU President Hunter Rawlings said.

With more than 800,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students participating nationwide, the survey is expected to be among the largest ever focused on sexual assault.

Westat employs methods and procedures to protect the confidentiality of the data, which is stored in an encrypted database in a secure location and can only be accessed directly by the web application and a small number of its own researchers.

Survey participants may skip any question they don’t wish to answer and may exit the survey at any time.

A help desk will be available to assist with any questions and concerns, technical or otherwise, about the survey. The desk will also refer any distressed students to a variety of services, both national and local. All services will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to support students.


Contact: Jen Day Shaw, jends@dso.ufl.edu, 352-392-1261