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Penn State To Launch Sexual Assault Climate Survey To Students

As part of the Penn State’s ongoing initiative to combat sexual violence, the university will be launching a climate survey to better understand students’ views, experience, and knowledge of resources available to them regarding sexual assault and sexual harassment. The hope is that the survey results will yield insight into certain areas — such as the prevalence of sexual violence, and whether or not alcohol plays a role.

The survey will present students with questions pertaining to their personal experiences, their perceptions, and the behavior of bystanders. The hope is that the results will be used to decrease the prevalence of sexual misconduct on Penn State campuses. The survey is part of Penn State’s effort to create a safer campus environment, and comes after the university’s sexual misconduct task force formed, and President Barron’s subsequent acceptance of all 18 recommendations the force put forward.

The survey will be electronically sent to 10,000 undergraduate and 2,000-3,000 graduate students at University Park, along with roughly 1,500 students at each of the larger branch campuses and all students enrolled at smaller branch campuses. Responses will be anonymous, and students participating from larger branch campuses will be randomly selected.

“We know sexual violence is a concern on our campuses. But understanding the scope of that is very difficult because of the nature of these incidents,” said Andrea Dowhower, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs. “The better the response to the survey, the greater the understanding of the scope, size and locations of the problems so our educational efforts and interventions can be fine-tuned to where we see the most egregious issues.”

In an effort to get as much student participation as possible in the survey, those who complete it will be entered into a raffle for prizes.

About the Author

Lexi Shimkonis

Lexi is an editor-turned-staff writer who can often be found at either Irving's or the Phyrst (with the chances she'll have her backpack being the same). Lexi is a senior hailing from Spring City, PA (kind of) and studying Civil Engineering. Please email questions and/or pleas for an Instagram caption to [email protected], or for a more intimate bond, follow her on Twitter @lexshimko.

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