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Speak Out Iowa and Anti-Violence Plan support changes to the climate

It’s on all of us to help create a safe and healthy campus environment, and the University of Iowa has a committed team working collaboratively to prevent sexual misconduct and violence, support survivors, and hold offenders accountable. Through the Speak Out Iowa campus climate survey and the 2018-2021 UI Anti-Violence Plan, the UI continues to improve the campus climate.

In fall 2017, the UI conducted the second iteration of the Speak Out Iowa survey. Student experiences continue to be at the core of UI's comprehensive strategy to respond to sexual misconduct, dating violence, and stalking on campus, and all undergraduate, graduate, and professional students were invited to participate in the survey. A shorter survey and comprehensive marking plan lead to a response rate of 22.8%.

“Campus climate surveys on sexual misconduct provide campus specific prevalence estimates of sexual misconduct (sexual harassment, stalking, dating violence, sexual violence victimization) experienced by students. The surveys also provide data on students’ perceptions of campus safety and how the institution responds to sexual misconduct, their exposure to sexual misconduct information and education, and their awareness of campus resources for addressing sexual misconduct,” says Carolyn Hartley, chair of the Campus Climate Survey Subcommittee. “The data from these surveys provides campus administrators with actionable information about their campus climate to inform campus specific prevention and intervention efforts. The process of conducting campus climate surveys also signals to the campus community the institution’s commitment to addressing sexual misconduct.”

Survey results indicated that students have trust in campus services and how the UI will respond to a report of sexual misconduct. Results also continue to show that students are at increased risk of sexual assault during the first semester, which is consistent with research, but that this risk may persist into the second semester. With the increased response rate, the UI was also able to make comparisons by race/ethnicity and sexual orientation. The findings reinforced what we know from research, students who identify as LGBQ are at an increased risk of sexual misconduct. The key findings and full report can be found here.

The UI Anti-Violence Plan guides the campus and outlines efforts to respond to sexual misconduct, dating violence, and stalking. The 2018-2021 Anti-Violence Plan includes new action items as well as four items carried over from the previous plan. It focuses on prevention and education, intervention, and policy, and is influenced by the Speak Out Iowa survey, evidence-informed practices, and input from members of the UI Anti-Violence Coalition, survivors, and stakeholders.

Some strategies within the plan include: ensuring campus prevention and education efforts meet the needs of racial and ethnic minority students, students with disabilities, international students, and LGBTQ communities on campus; increasing knowledge of how to get help and where to report; and identifying and utilizing a variety of mechanisms to collect campus feedback to inform policy review and revision. To keep campus informed of progress, updates will made regularly on the plan webpage. The complete 2018-2021 Anti-Violence Plan can be found here.

“The plan includes input from 10 stakeholder groups which included students, shared governance representatives, staff and faculty, administrators, and community partners; I am grateful for their input and ongoing commitment to our shared work,” explains Monique DiCarlo, UI Title IX Coordinator.

2018 Year In Review

This article is part of the 2018 Year in Review, which highlights some of the Division of Student Life's accomplishments from the previous academic year.

Go to Year in Review