This is the message the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women (FSMCW) works to spread, primarily in the context of sexual misconduct.
This past week, undergraduate, graduate and professional students were sent a survey about sexual assault and misconduct on campus, pioneered by outside organizations Association of American Universities and Westat.
The survey looks at student opinions on the campus climate surrounding sexual assault and misconduct.
FSMCW Advocate for Gender Violence Prevention and Response Danielle Bernat Sabo said that she “not only believes that a survey like this helps more students come forward with reports and/or seek out confidential support but it also allows for us as a school to see where we might not be communicating our resources well enough to the community.”
The Center for Women also noted that after the publicity of the #MeToo Movement, they had an increase in people coming to them with questions and asking for help.
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and University Title IX Coordinator Darnell Parker released a statement about the survey. It said:
“We are going to use the information from this survey to further develop our programs and outreach, and to assist in reviewing policies. Since the last administration of the campus climate survey in 2015, we have used the information to enhance resources and programs on-campus.”
He continued, “We would like students to know that the university takes incidents of sexual violence and intimate partner violence seriously, and the Office of Title IX and its partners are here to provide resources to the campus community.”
This is the fourth year the survey has been sent out to students. Past results have inspired the launch of the Green Dot bystander intervention program, as well as the creation of educational modules and in-person education for faculty and staff.
While it is too early to know the results of this year’s survey, several different organizations on campus continue to work toward decreasing the number of students affected by sexual misconduct.
Several new projects are in the works to improve the conversation around sexual misconduct. For example, fall 2019 will bring a new interactive series called bySTANDers at CWRU to help students and faculty be better informed about sexual misconduct.
Additionally, programs like SEXPO are being extended in length, which is becoming a month long conversation called SEXtember.
By taking the survey, students are not only able to share their feelings on the topic but are also able to change the direction and momentum of new programs.