Editorial, Featured

Title IX … and you

Courtesy of Karla Silva-Park

Campus Climate Survey Results

Earlier this year, the entire University of Hawai‘i community, including all the community colleges, had the opportunity to participate in the Campus Climate Survey. While the data still has not been released yet, we are preparing for it and gearing up to take a hard look at what we have done well and what we as a campus community and system can improve upon.

The purpose of this survey was to measure currently enrolled (during Spring 2019) students’ attitudes and behaviors around sexual harassment and gender-based violence. The survey looked at a variety of components of sexual harassment and gender-based violence, which was dependant upon how the respondant answered the questions. This allowed the survey to tailor itself to the individual’s experience and allowed for a deeper look into one’s experience.

Again, as in 2017, the survey inquired about who was perpetrating these behaviors against them. However, this time we were able to identify the perpetrator’s relationship to the university when it came to domestic violence.

This year’s survey also took a deeper dive into new components that were not previously looked at in our 2017 survey. The 2019 survey assessed a student’s experience in a holistic manner, giving the university a much better understanding of the significant impact sexual harassment and gender-based violence have directly on our students in their day-to-day lives.

Students were asked about the direct impacts on them in the following capacities:

• Emotional/Behavioral Health which examined how students felt and what behaviors they may have had as a result of what they were feeling such as whether they experienced feeling hopeless, had a loss of interest in activities, felt numb or felt like harming themselves.

• Hostile Environment examined the impacts on where students went, if it changed their daily routines, their sense of safety, and their living space.

• Academic/Professional explored the impact on students’ studies, their grades, their ability to concentrate or focus, whether or not they contemplated dropping out of school, as well as if it impacted their attendance or assignment completion.

• Social Conditions assessed whether they disengaged from social supports or friends and activities.

• Physical Health examined the effect on eating, headaches/stomach pain, whether or not medical attention was necessary, physical injuries, and starting or an increase in the use of substances.

These new areas of focus highlight the significant influence gender-based violence and sexual harassment have on one’s academic experience and daily life. Without knowing this information, it is difficult for our campuses to know how to support our students.

The Campus Climate Survey is an ongoing measure for not only WCC but for the entire university system to gain a better understanding of our students’ needs. By knowing the needs of our students, we are better able to target our prevention efforts while coordinating better supports and resources directly to where they are needed.

The release of the Campus Climate Survey Data is expected in late 2019 to early 2020.

by Karla Silva-Park, LMHC, NCC

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