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University Launches Second Sexual Misconduct Climate Survey

Penn State is launching its second campus climate survey on sexual assault and sexual harassment. The survey is randomly sent to about 10,000 University Park undergraduates, 2,000 to 3,000 grad students, about 1,500 students at each of the larger commonwealth campuses, and all students at smaller campuses.

Through the survey, the university hopes to learn about student perceptions, experiences, and knowledge of resources related to sexual assault and sexual harassment. Students will be asked about their personal experiences, perceptions, knowledge of campus resources, and bystander behavior.

The inaugural survey launched in fall 2015 and results were announced in April 2016. It was implemented by recommendation of the sexual assault task force.

“Understanding our students’ experiences is key to improving the support and resources we offer,” Adam Christensen, director of Student Affairs Research and Assessment, said in a release. “It’s critically important that we hear from as many students as possible to capture a wide-ranging picture of all types of student experiences.”

Penn State hopes the survey will provide insight into the prevalence of sexual assault and harassment at the university, how comfortable people feel reporting incidents, and the role of alcohol.

Results of the survey will likely be compared to those from 2015 to see how much progress (or lack thereof) the university has made over the past few years.

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About the Author

Elissa Hill

Elissa was the managing editor of Onward State from 2017-2019. She is from Punxsutawney, PA [insert corny Bill Murray joke here] and considers herself an expert on all things ice cream. Follow her on Twitter (@ElissaKHill) for more corny jokes.

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