All of us at the University of Arizona have an obligation to create a campus where we can work and learn in an environment that is safe and respects the value of each individual. We all must commit to doing everything we can to prevent sexual assault and the damage and destruction it causes to our students, faculty, staff, and the broader Wildcat community.
Last April, the UA participated in a campus climate survey intended to tell us more about what our students experience and to gauge their awareness of both the resources available and the staff working to prevent and address sexual assault and misconduct on our campus.
The American Association of Universities Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Misconduct was produced in collaboration with 27 institutions of higher education, including the UA. We have received the results of our part and, as promised, I am sharing those with you today.
The survey confirms much of what we already knew. Sexual assault and misconduct is a significant issue for the UA and some people are more affected than others. The survey indicated 20 percent of all women and 23 percent of people who identify as other than heterosexual are impacted the most. It also shows that many of the students who responded are unsure of how to help if they see someone threatened or in a risky situation.
Students also reported that they were very aware of UA services they can turn to for help, including Campus Health (86 percent), the UA Police Department (74 percent), and the Dean of Students Office (48 percent). The student respondents also expressed a high degree of trust in the ability of campus officials to take sexual assault and misconduct reports seriously, to conduct fair investigations, to discipline offenders, and to act to reduce sexual assault on campus.
Information from this survey, combined with others we do at the UA, helps us target resources and enhance programs where they are most needed. Actions underway include:
training for students that is required for each incoming class,
reorganizing the Oasis Program against Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence to reach and serve more students,
adding more resources to bystander intervention programs, and
adding more resources for outreach to LGBTQ students and students with disabilities.
Creating a campus climate free of the fear of sexual assault, violence, and intimidation requires the efforts of each of us. Please get involved by learning more, looking out for each other, and supporting survivors whose lives have been changed dramatically by sexual assault and misconduct. This is an issue that will not go away tomorrow, but it’s also one where any of us can make a difference today.
Memo from President Ann Weaver Hart to the University of Arizona Campus Community on September 21, 2015
UA AAU Campus Climate Survey Documents and AAU Climate Survey