Experienced sexual misconduct on campus? A new UC Berkeley survey wants to hear your story

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In an effort to improve current and future campus prevention and response efforts, UC Berkeley will begin rolling out a comprehensive sexual harassment and violence survey to staff, students and faculty Tuesday.

The survey will collect data on campus attitudes toward sexual violence and harassment, the prevalence of violence and harassment incidents, participants’ experience with relevant campus resources and social norms surrounding sexual violence and harassment, according to the press release.

Campus community members from various departments and offices developed the survey with NORC, a nonprofit research organization at the University of Chicago, over a period of several months, according to Sharon Inkelas, special faculty adviser to the chancellor on sexual violence and sexual harassment.

“We certainly have not done anything on this scale,” Inkelas said. “It’s a new venture for us.”

The survey will become available to staff Tuesday and to students and faculty Jan. 22.

The survey is “inclusive in all kinds of ways,” according to Inkelas, and it will be available in several languages or in print form for those who don’t have access to computers.

According to Inkelas, a survey specific to sexual harassment and violence within the entire campus community has not been conducted before. In 2013, a survey of general campus climate was held within the entire community, but sexual harassment and violence was only one part of the larger study.

Inkelas stated that the survey is also intended to assess awareness of and access to resources. She added that the survey is unique because it aims to survey the whole campus community, not just students.

ASUC Student Advocate Jillian Free said sexual violence and harassment was a priority for advocates on campus even before heightened awareness and the #MeToo movement. Free added that public attention to the issue highlights the need to understand that sexual assault is a broader issue that is not limited to Hollywood.

“On our campus, data is powerful, and this is a real issue that’s affecting and has affected and will continue to affect students,” Free said. “It’s about time we have data on that.”

The survey can be paused and resumed as needed and will take approximately 20 to 45 minutes to complete. It will be available through February, and results of the survey are expected to become public in May, according to the press release.

Responses will be confidential. NORC will only provide data to campus in an aggregated or de-identified format, according to the press release.

“I am proud that this survey reaches faculty and staff because it shows that (sexual violence and sexual harassment) is a community issue that affects all of us, regardless of your status on this campus,” Free said in an email. “It shows a commitment to community-based prevention and a comprehensive as possible understanding of the issues.”

A new website has launched for the survey and can be accessed here. A video on the campus YouTube account advertising the survey can be seen here.


Cade Johnson is the lead schools and communities reporter. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @cadejohnson98.