HEDS Sexual Assault Campus Climate Survey

The Higher Education Data Sharing Consortium (HEDS) Sexual Assault Campus Climate Survey asks students about their perceptions of their campus’s climate for unwanted sexual contact and sexual assault, their perceptions of how their institution responds to sexual assaults, and whether and how often they have experienced unwanted sexual contact or sexual assault. The survey was developed to help institutions meet the requirements of the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (the Clery Act) and the 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act to collect and report information about crimes on campus including sexual assault. 

How are the data used?

The spring 2015 and 2017 survey data provided evidence-based support for the following actions by the university:

  • Re-evaluating the current process and making changes if needed, specifically with regards to investigation and sanctions.
  • Improving education, specifically:
    • defining sexual misconduct;
    • educating individuals about the process of reporting, including the options (institutional and/or legal), filing a report, roles of individuals involved in the process, and sanctions;
    • providing easy access to sexual misconduct policies and procedures for all constituents (faculty, staff, and students); and
    • sharing survey results with the larger campus community.
  • Encouraging community conversations around sensitive issues, such as sexual misconduct and mental health.
  • Providing an on campus advocate and counselor from the Sexual Assault Crisis center to increase student support, and
  • Having a dedicated SHARE committee to providing prevention and education opportunities throughout the year to create of culture of sexual respect.

These actions resulted in the new sexual misconduct policy; direct access to the policy, procedures, and resources on the new SHARE website and through the SHARE app; new on-campus sexual assault advocates (SHARE Advocates); Title IX education for all employees; and outreach and community events for students. The university continues to explore potential improvements in safety, support, and education.