Campus Climate Survey inspires change on campus

The researchers behind the CCS credit it for the university’s new Title IX Coordinator as well as other preventative measures on campus.

As the Campus Climate Survey circulates around TU, those who want to promote safety on campus hope that the survey proves an effective way to protect all students on campus.

TITAN (the University of Tulsa Institute of Trauma, Adversity and Injustice) puts out the survey as a joint venture with Advocacy Alliance, an interdepartmental committee at TU that works to end violence on campus.

Representatives from TITAN and the Advocacy Alliance, Head of the Office of Violence Prevention Kelsey Hancock, director of the Trauma Research, Advocacy, Prevention and Treatment Center (TRAPT) Lab Dr. Joanne Davis and TRAPT Lab Manager Matt Crowley released a statement on the purpose of the survey.

“The CCS allows us to see changes that result from prevention and education efforts on campus year to year.”

The Office of Violence Prevention, for example, puts on programs with Greek Life on campus, and the survey aims to collect data that would better inform programming for the future. These programs have increased in recent years.

According to TITAN, “TU has increased its programming by 375 percent since we received a grant from the Office on Violence Against Women and hired a program coordinator.”

Hancock provided some background on the CCS and the departments that design it. “The CCS started in 2014.” She said that the CCS was focused on “attitudes, prevalence rates and knowledge of interpersonal violence” and that as the survey has gone on, it has become shorter, from “two hours the first year to half an hour” this year, making it easier to get the valuable information it collects.

As far as what is first done with the compiled results, “an executive summary is written each year detailing the results of the CCS and recommendations are made based on the responses. These summaries (from the past four years) can be found on the UTulsa website on the Sexual Violence Prevention webpage.”

These summaries are then used “to inform the content and nature of prevention programming on campus, as well as campus policies and processes related to interpersonal violence.”

The survey has played a direct part in making changes to the campus based off the results. One example was when “the first two executive summary reports recommended creating a position for a sole Title IX Coordinator,” which was “accomplished in 2017 in the hiring of Matt Warren.” According to Hancock, this change has helped students significantly. “Matt knows the law well… he can contact people… and make [survivors’] lives easier without changing anything else.”

As for changes that may occur in the future as a direct result of the Campus Climate Survey, the TITAN and Advocacy Alliance says, “Recommendations in recent executive summary reports suggest that we could enhance and expand our efforts to create culture change on campus by instituting an Office of Violence Prevention (OVP).” And the survey will expand its horizons soon.

According to Hancock, “We developed and will be administering a CCS for faculty and staff this spring.” For her, this has been a long time coming. It had been something the administration had wanted to do, but at a panel last year, “someone inquire[d] on why we aren’t doing [a survey for faculty and staff].” After a while, they “finally got to a place where they can roll out [the faculty and staff CCS] next month.”

The new survey will expand TITAN and the Advocacy Alliance’s efforts to make the University of Tulsa a safer campus for everyone.

Post Author: Brennen Gray