University Affairs

USU Releases Recent Sexual Misconduct Survey Data for Students, Employees

Utah State University has released the results of its latest student and employee sexual misconduct surveys.

USU implements these surveys every other year, and the results help evaluate past prevention efforts and guide future planning. The student survey has been conducted every other spring since 2017, making the 2023 version the fourth of its kind, and this was the second biennial survey the university has conducted for employees.

“The data we get from these surveys is crucial for determining how our efforts are working and where we need to improve,” said Cody Carmichael, the university’s Title IX Coordinator. “These reports allow the university to understand the various kinds of sexual misconduct experienced in our community, and then we can make more informed decisions about how we target our outreach and education efforts and allocate staff and other resources.”

Every year, the survey adjusts to gain new insights, such as the addition of questions on sexual exploitation in the 2023 surveys. Then the data is used to inform student and employee trainings, create social marketing education campaigns, and inform education for individuals reported for sexual misconduct behaviors.

The 2023 survey had a 10% response rate for students, and the employee survey had a 16% response rate.

A comparison between the 2023 and 2017 survey results shows a marked change in student perceptions and experiences. For the 2023 student survey, the majority of participants (98%) said they feel safe on their USU campus, compared to 93% in the first survey in 2017. Most student participants (86%) thought USU officials handle concerning incidents against students in a fair and responsible manner. This is up from 52% in the 2017 student survey, a significant improvement in how students perceive USU’s response to sexual misconduct issues.

The 2023 surveys also included some important updates. The questions about experiences with sexual misconduct, as well as workplace incivility in the employee survey, were changed to ask about experiences since May 2021 or since becoming a student or employee at USU (if earlier). This change aligns with current best practices for such surveys and helps USU better assess how culture and climate at the university have changed since the last survey was administered. Although this creates a problem when comparing some responses to past surveys, it will establish a baseline that follows best practices for future surveys.

Key takeaways from the 2023 reports include:

  • An increasing number of both students and employees are aware of both:
    • How to file a sexual misconduct report.
      • Employees: 90.5% in 2023 vs. 82.1% in 2021 survey
      • Students: 66.4% in 2023 vs. 53.8% in 2021 survey
    • What USU’s procedures are for addressing reports.
      • Employees: 84.3% in 2023 vs. 50% in 2021 survey
      • Students: 65.9% in 2023 vs. 30% in 2021 survey

Utah State provides more information about the surveys, as well as current and past survey reports for download, at https://www.usu.edu/sexual-respect/survey.

CONTACT

Amanda DeRito
Associate VP of Strategic Communications
University Marketing and Communications
435-797-2759
Amanda.derito@usu.edu


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