By Marissa Payne
The University of Iowa is encouraging students to speak out about sexual misconduct by responding to its second campus safety survey examining the UI’s responses and resources related to the issue.
Released Tuesday, the anonymous Speak Out Iowa survey takes about 15 minutes to complete and has been made easier to access via a mobile device since the survey’s first iteration in 2015, according to the survey website.
The survey asks students about their familiarity with campus resources pertaining to sexual misconduct, perceptions of the UI’s response to reported incidents of sexual misconduct, and students’ own experiences with sexual misconduct since enrolling.
UI President Bruce Harreld wrote in an Oct. 20 email alerting students the survey would soon open and said the UI hopes to increase participation compared to its 2015 survey, which had a response rate of 9.3 percent.
“Even if you or someone you know has not been personally impacted by this issue, your thoughts about how we can make the campus safer and more responsive to sexual misconduct are very important to us,” Harreld wrote.
The 2015 survey revealed 21 percent of female undergraduates reported being raped. Additionally, of the female undergraduates who responded, 11.4 percent reported being raped during their first semester at the UI.
Results were scheduled to come out earlier that year, but the release was delayed to allow the university time to formulate a response, which resulted in the antiviolence plan. The plan contains three main goals: prevention and education, intervention, and policy.
Participation in the survey will support the UI’s work to “ensure a safe, healthy, and nondiscriminatory environment for all students,” Harreld wrote.
“Our university is dedicated to fostering a caring community where every student has a right to an education free from sexual violence, sexual harassment, stalking, and dating violence,” he said.
Survey results will be released in spring 2018 and will be considered as the UI addresses sexual misconduct on campus and in the community.