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University to administer AAU student survey on sexual misconduct in spring 2019

October 4, 2018

This spring, the University will ask all students to participate in a national climate survey on sexual assault and misconduct, in partnership with the Association of American Universities (AAU).  The University was announced this week as being one of 33 participating institutions, making it the largest survey of its kind.

Universities use climate surveys to understand their students’ experiences with sexual violence, harassment, relationship violence, and other sexual misconduct in order to align resources and prevention efforts with the areas of greatest need.  While the University has regularly surveyed students on these topics in accordance with New York State’s “Enough is Enough” law, this will be the first time that the University—one of 62 AAU research institutions—joins the AAU Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Misconduct. This is the second nationwide sexual misconduct climate survey that AAU has hosted, with the previous one being in 2015.

“Sexual misconduct in higher education has rightfully been the subject of national dialogue recently, and the University has its attention focused on ensuring that we provide an inclusive, safe environment for students, and a Culture of Respect for everyone,” said University President Richard Feldman. “The AAU climate survey is an important part of our efforts to fully understand how we can best direct resources toward the issue, as well as provide needed support to those affected. I hope all students will consider expressing their thoughts on this important topic through the AAU survey.”

The survey will launch in February 2019, with students having four weeks to complete it. As the survey approaches, the University will actively encourage students’ participation to help ensure the broadest and most accurate picture of their experiences. The 2019 survey instrument includes a set of standardized questions that are used for all participating universities, as well as questions that have been customized to gather information specific to the University of Rochester.

Students’ responses and input are anonymous. The data will be analyzed by the research firm Westat, and then AAU will release aggregate results from participating universities and provide each institution with its own data set to decide how to share. The University’s results will be communicated broadly in fall 2019.

Anyone in need of support or information regarding reporting sexual assault should see:  https://www.rochester.edu/sexualmisconduct.

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