Campus climate surveys are important tools to gauge students’ current attitudes, behaviors and standards.
What is Campus Climate? (FAQs)
It is the University’s responsibility to provide a safe, supportive environment where students 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 also launched a second climate survey on January 22, 2019 to continue monitoring the issue of campus sexual harassment and gender-based violence.
The University continues this important work as it launches its third climate survey on January 26, 2021. The survey is available to students aged 18 and older until February 26, 2021.
Climate Survey Frequently Asked Questions
UH’s climate survey focused on measuring students’ attitudes, behaviors and standards in the context of trying to address and prevent sexual harassment and gender-based violence. More specifically, the UH survey gathered information from students about:
- The overall campus environment related to sexual harassment and gender-based violence.
- How well UH responds to and addresses their concerns.
- Awareness of resource and reporting options for those experiencing sexual violence, sexual harassment, stalking, and interpersonal violence (domestic and dating violence).
- Prevalence (e.g., how widespread) and incidence (e.g., how often) of sexual violence, sexual harassment, stalking, and interpersonal violence on campus.
The results of the survey are available on the Office of Institutional Equity website under Survey Results & Methodology.
Participation in the survey is voluntary. Individual survey responses are confidential. A National Institutes for Health Certificate of Confidentiality (CoC) was obtained for this survey to protect the privacy of participants. For more info about the CoC and the protections provided, visit the NIH website.
The 2021 Survey will be offered to enrolled students ages 18+ on all 10 UH campuses.
In the 2017 Survey, 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. The same process was utilized to screen students for the 2019 survey.
The survey is being coordinated by UH’s Office of Institutional Equity (OIE).
UH contracted with OmniTrak Group, Inc. to undertake the survey. OmniTrak, an independent Hawai‘i-based market research company is led by the Honorable Patricia M. Loui, a former United Nations social development planner with 35 years of expertise researching sensitive subjects in the State.
For this survey, OmniTrak teamed with two well-known national subject matter experts: Professor Sandra L. Martin, Ph.D., and Professor Bonnie S. Fisher, Ph.D., who consulted on the Association of American Universities (AAU) 2015 Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct. They joined OmniTrak’s team in the pre-planning stage, and they have remained actively involved through analysis, writing and presentation of results.
The survey will be launched on Tuesday, January 26, 2021. The survey will be available until February 26, 2021.
A customized link to the online survey will be emailed to all UH students at their hawaii.edu email address.
Students who prefer to respond to paper copies of the survey or surveys with key sections (Consent Form and Key Instructions) translated into Tagalog, Korean, Mandarin or Japanese, may call the OmniTrak survey hotline at: (808) 536-4880.
Translated sections are also available on the Taking the Survey & Translations page.
Hard copies of the survey (including translated sections) will be mailed to the student upon request. The student can complete a hard copy and return the survey via mail.
The survey represents President Lassner’s and UH’s continuing commitment to raising awareness about sexual harassment and gender-based violence, addressing students’ experiences and concerns about their personal safety, and ensuring a safe learning and working environment.
The survey also fulfills the requirements of Section 304A-120 of the Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes (Act 208 (2016)), which has mandated UH to conduct a campus climate survey of students by March 31, 2017 and to repeat the survey every two years.
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 in the Fall of 2016 and again in the Fall of 2018 to gather 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.
Data from the survey will be analyzed and presented in aggregate form in a report. The results will be compared against data collected in the 2017 and 2019 Climate Surveys, which will continue to be used to assess UH’s progress as it addresses these issues. The results will also serve as a resource to sustain the community’s commitment to working together to ensure safe and inclusive campuses.
The aggregate data will also be incorporated in campus action plans, which will guide future programmatic, education and training initiatives as well as the development of policies and procedures regarding sexual harassment and gender-based violence.
For questions relating to accessing the survey, contact the OmniTrak survey hotline:
Phone: (808) 536-4880.
Media inquiries can be directed to the University System Communications Office (Dan Meisenzahl):
Phone: (808) 348-4936
For all other inquiries relating to the survey, contact the UH Office of Institutional Equity:
Phone: (808) 956-8629
Students who want to receive assistance or information in a confidential, private setting on their campus or in their community can find the right resource for them by going to: https://www.hawaii.edu/titleix/confidential/
If researchers require data beyond information available in the report, researchers can submit a request to the Office of Institutional Equity at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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