Loyola Collects Data on Students’ Perceptions of Sexual Assault

Elena Alfonso Sanchez | The PHOENIX

Loyola’s Title IX Coordinator Thomas Kelly released a gender-based violence climate survey to Loyola students via email April 7 in hopes of evaluating sexual assault on campus.

Gender-based violence includes sexual misconduct such as sexual assault, dating violence and stalking, according to the survey.

The survey will allow respondents to be anonymous and follows the fall semester’s increase in reports of gender-based violence. There were 76 reports of gender-based violence compared to 49 reports in the same time frame in 2015.

Kelly said he hopes the university can gain insight through the survey.

“We want to learn about awareness, education and training and if we need to be doing more or implementing different communication outlets,” Kelly said.

The survey begins with a general climate questionnaire about the perception of Loyola as a whole. It asks how the person feels about Loyola administrators, faculty, staff and students.

The survey also asks about perception of leadership, policies, reporting and sexual misconduct on campus. It questions one’s own personal experience with sexual misconduct, dating violence and stalking. Questions about one’s role and comfort level to act as a bystander are also included.

The survey concludes with a demographic section asking for one’s gender, sexual orientation and participation at Loyola. It asks if one is part of an intramural team, intercollegiate athletics, a fraternity or sorority, a ministry companion, a Resident Assistant/Orientation Leader or another student leader as a part of Student Government for Loyola Chicago or another school group.

Kelly said the survey asks about student involvement because the university already works with some groups on campus to educate on sexual assault.

“We already do different additional training and education with Greek Life and athletics so we want to see if their results look different,” he said. “Is there something there that we are doing more or less effective.”

Kelly said the university will review the data over the summer and publish a summary of the survey’s results and a plan of action in the fall semester.

“There is a lot of survey data out there on how [sexual assault] affects college students’ lives and we want to learn what that prevalence is for our students versus the national level,” he said.

The survey has been in the works for months, as The Phoenix previously reported. It follows a precedent set by other Jesuit universities, including Xavier University in Cincinnati and Fordham University in New York City, which both released similar surveys in 2015.

Those surveys asked about participants’ experience with sexual violence and awareness of university resources.

Loyola senior advertising major Kristina Carbonara said she thinks the survey will receive a lot of feedback.

“I definitely think because of the topic itself people will respond,” said the 21-year-old. “Especially with the ratio of guys versus girls here and it being such a topic of discussion here, since what I’ve noticed in my four years here.”

But, Carbonara said she doesn’t think she will be able to find time to take the survey due to this busy time in the semester.

Second-year social work graduate student Jamey Arnold said she has not yet taken the survey, but said she wants to see more students make an impact.

“I would love to see all students have really intense classes, like mandatory education on rape culture and sexual assault and domestic violence and intimate partner violence,” the 24-year-old said. “How do we just get all systems and organizations to commit?”

The student survey will remain open until May 7. Loyola faculty and staff received a separate survey tailored to their needs.

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