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It is the University’s responsibility to provide a safe, supportive environment where you can achieve academic success and personal growth. Unfortunately, the issue of sexual assault and gender-based violence is prevalent on college campuses nationwide. The University of Hawaii has made significant progress towards addressing this critical problem, but we can do more.

Campus climate surveys are important tools that are used to help colleges prevent sexual assault and other forms of gender-based violence. These surveys measure the prevalence of gender-based violence on campus and gauge students’ attitudes and behaviors.

In January 2017, UH launched a climate survey on sexual harassment and gender-based violence across all ten campuses. The survey gave students an opportunity to share their experiences and perceptions on how sexual misconduct on their campus.

The University will undertake a climate survey in January 2019 to continue monitoring the issue of campus sexual harassment and gender-based violence.

Climate Survey Frequently Asked Questions

Campus climate surveys are important tools to gauge students’ current attitudes, behaviors and standards.

For consistency and comparison, the publicly available and previously tested survey questions developed by the Association of American Universities in its 2015 study for 27 Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) formed the base of the survey design, particularly the questions asking about incidence and prevalence of sexual harassment and gender-based violence.

To ensure the design considered potential issues and areas of concern at the University of Hawai‘i, and aligned with UH’s diverse campus system, focus groups of undergraduate, graduate and professional school students were implemented between September 12 and 19, 2016, and gathered design input from different student constituencies.

After careful consideration of the costs and benefits of a census versus a sample survey, UH decided to proceed with a census survey. A large part of the decision was because of UH’s diverse community, and a desire to remain inclusive of all of the various sub-populations on UH’s campuses.

The sample frame for the survey was a census of 44,671 adult students enrolled in the 2017 Spring Semester across all 10 UH campuses. UH provided a database of student email addresses, screening them against the following characteristics: 1) Enrolled in the UH Spring 2017 semester; and 2) Aged 18 years or older.

Of the students system-wide who received an invitation to participate in the survey, 7,810 (17.5%) started the survey and either submitted or left their responses in their survey account without pressing the submit button.

Of all surveys started, 6,311 met the criteria for “completed surveys” resulting in a completed survey response rate of 14.1 percent.

Surveys were analyzed to determine if they met the two criteria required to define a “completed” survey: 1) The survey participant spent at least five minutes before submitting and, 2) For partial surveys where the submit button was not pressed, at least one question in each of the victimization sections was answered, except for Section F which requires screening for a partnered relationship.

If researchers require data beyond information available in the report, researchers can submit a request to the Office of Institutional Equity at institutional.equity@hawaii.edu. The request should include:

  • Researcher’s Full Name
  • Job Title
  • Department/Agency (if applicable)
  • Contact Information (phone number, email address, address)
  • A list of all data elements needed for analysis

Data from the January 2017 Student Climate Survey on Sex Harassment and Gender-Based Violence was analyzed and presented in a December 2017 report. The results are currently being reviewed by each campus and will serve as a baseline for key indicators of campus safety and accountability. Campus plans will be developed in 2018 to addresses these issues, and provide resources to sustain the community’s commitment to work together to ensure safe and inclusive campuses. This includes development of future programmatic, education and training initiatives as well as the development of policies and procedures regarding sexual harassment and gender-based violence, expected to be released in the Fall Semester 2018.