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Survey to be distributed on sexual assault, misconduct on college campuses

Next week, Case Western Reserve students will have a second opportunity to share their perspectives on the university’s climate regarding sexual assault and misconduct.

All students—undergraduate, graduate and professional—will receive email invitations to participate in an online, confidential survey that the Association of American Universities (AAU) again is coordinating with Westat, a leading social science research firm.

The AAU—an organization involving the nation’s leading research universities—first offered the survey in 2015, when 150,000 students participated. Case Western Reserve’s response rate then—just under 30 percent—was significantly higher than the average for the 27 institutions that took part.

“The strong participation of our students four years ago testified to their commitment to make sure our community heard their views regarding the campus programs, services and overall atmosphere surrounding this critical issue,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Lou Stark. “I hope they engage as enthusiastically again this year, and with comparable candor.”

In 2015, just over 8 percent of Case Western Reserve students indicated they considered sexual assault “very much or extremely problematic” at the university, a figure less than half of the overall average of AAU institutions. But nearly two-thirds of female undergraduates said they had experienced sexual harassment on campus, which was slightly higher than the overall AAU average.

Since then, Case Western Reserve has partnered with the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center to expand services for students, enhanced training for students regarding sexual misconduct and launched the nationally renowned Green Dot bystander intervention program, among other educational initiatives.

“We want to hear from students regarding the impact of these efforts,” Stark said, “as well as other areas where we can strengthen our on-campus offerings.” The survey will be open from Monday, March 25, through Friday, April 12.

Students with questions about the survey can contact the university’s Office of Institutional Research at cwrufacts@case.edu.