Letter from the Editor: To students, fill out sexual assault survey

Sophomore Sage Carson is one of the students on the Faculty Senate committee that released Monday’s survey.

Letters from the editor are written by Editor-In-Chief Elizabeth Quartararo and Executive Editor Cady Zuvich.

Dear Readers,

By now you have received an email from Dawn Thompson and Susan Groff urging you to fill out a survey about your experiences with sexual assault, harassment and domestic abuse at the university. We encourage you to complete this survey.

As reporters, we often find little quantitative information on sexual assault. Looking at current reported cases at the university, one would not believe there is a problem. The only official numbers are from the Annual Campus Safety Report, which lists nine sexual assaults within the past three years. We know this number is a far cry from the truth. We also know many are deterred from reporting, and its difficult to form a complete narrative of the current campus climate without accurate, representative numbers.

The anonymous survey sent to all undergraduates is being conducted by the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness in conjunction with a Faculty Senate Commission on Sexual Harassment and Assault. The commission is made up of various university stakeholders, as well as SGA president Ben Page-Gil and Sage Carson. Professor and Chairperson Michael Chajes said the commission is committed to transparency, and will share the survey’s findings with the university. This transparency is important to us because as journalists, we want to report to our readers comprehensively and truthfully.

The commission is also working with the Title IX office for ways to share more of information coming into them. Most reports of sexual assault go to the Title IX office, but they have yet to fully quantify their reports. We support working with the Title IX office, but also understand its important to uphold the confidentiality of those who report.

We hope that in the coming months, transparency and collaboration can lead to us––as well as the campus community––to fully understand the current campus climate.

Faithfully Yours,

CZ and EQ

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