Worcester State conducts Campus Sexual Misconduct Climate Survey as part of its efforts to prevent sexual violence on campus

November 28, 2023
By: Worcester State University News

As part of its participation in the Culture of Respect Collective and in compliance with federal and state law, Worcester State University is conducting a Campus Sexual Misconduct Climate Survey to measure student perceptions of safety on campus.  

The information collected in the survey will help inform prevention and response efforts and provide a catalyst for enacting policies and practices to better address sexual misconduct on campus and improve training and awareness programs. The survey will be conducted every two years as a way of measuring the effectiveness of the university’s efforts to prevent sexual misconduct as well as evaluating the response to reports of sexual misconduct, which include sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and gender-based harassment.

Student responses to the survey are critical to help the university understand the scope of sexual misconduct on campus and student knowledge of reporting processes and services available. To that end, the university’s Title IX Office and Sexual Misconduct Response Team (SMRT) are enlisting the aid of faculty and staff to encourage students to complete the survey.

Students’ experiences here are central to everything we do,” said Assistant Director of Counseling Services and Sexual Violence Response and Prevention Coordinator Sarah Valois. “Their well-being is essential.”

Valois acknowledges that sexual misconduct can be difficult to talk about and stresses that students can answer as many or as few questions as they want, and all answers are completely anonymous and confidential. Across the country, reporting data doesn’t match the rates at which sexual misconduct happens. “That makes it difficult to best target our prevention and education efforts, to really meet students’ needs,” she said. She hopes the survey will help change that.


How long will the survey take?

The survey will take approximately 15 minutes or less to complete. 

When does the survey need to be completed?

December 15, 2023

Is this survey required by law?

State law now requires all institutions of higher education to implement a sexual misconduct climate survey every four years, with a recommended implementation of two2 years. All institutions of higher education are expected to implement the first survey by August 2025 and submit a summary of survey results to the Department of High Education within 120 days following survey administration. The FY2022 federal spending bill includes a new federal mandate that requires all institutions that receive federal aid to conduct campus sexual misconduct surveys every two years.

What topics are students asked about?

This survey asks sensitive questions around topics that include personal experiences with sexual misconduct, including sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence, gender-based violence, violence based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression, sexual assault, sexual harassment, or stalking.

Does a student have to participate?

No. Students may choose to participate or not. Given the topics surveyed it is essential that students are allowed to choose whether they would like to participate. Students may skip any question items they are not comfortable with or prefer not to answer.

Are responses confidential?

Yes. All survey responses are anonymous and confidential. Students interested in submitting their name for a prize will be directed to a separate form that is not connected to the survey.

Can graduate or non-traditional students participate?

Yes. This survey is designed to be implemented to all undergraduate and graduate students. The university hopes to obtain responses from a cross section of all of our students, regardless of part time/full time status.

Are there prizes for participation?

Yes. Students will be asked if they would like to participate in a prize drawing. Prizes include a Nintendo Switch, Railers tickets, and bookstore items. If they select No, no further action is required and their responses will be submitted. If they select Yes, their response will be submitted and they will be redirected to a form where they will enter their name and email. Responses to this survey and the entry to the prize drawing will not be connected in any way. In other words, responses to the survey will remain anonymous.

Are there age requirements to participate?

Yes. Students must be 18 or older to consent to participate in this survey. Students age 17 or younger will be directed to the end of the survey.

What if a student wants to take the survey but is triggered by the content?

Students may choose if they would like to participate. Resources are provided at the beginning and the end of the survey. Students are encouraged to reach out for support at any time before, during or after their participation.

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