Red Zone: 2019 Campus Climate survey results

The results of the 2019 University of Alaska Campus Climate Survey reveal rates of sexual misconduct within the UA system.

The survey used was developed by the Administrator Researcher Campus Climate Collaborate or ARC3. ARC3’s survey instrument allows universities to compare results from other universities that used the survey on their campus, according to UAA’s Title IX compliance page.

Brad Mrystol, director of the UAA Justice Center, was primarily responsible for conducting the survey, according to the official survey report.

Mrystol found the results of the survey unsurprising but saddening.

A table from the 2019 UA Campus Climate survey shows that UA’s sexual harassment statistics are comparable to
average rates across other national universities. Graphic courtesy of the 2019 UA Campus Climate Survey.

“As indicated in the table that compares UA estimates to those derived at other universities, the estimates from the UA 2019 Campus Climate survey are unfortunately unacceptably high at universities across the country,” Mrystol said.

The survey was circulated to 10,000 students over the period of a month, according to Green and Gold News. Mrystol asserted that the 8.4% response rate was sufficient for accurate analysis.

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“The primary objective is to obtain a high-quality sample that minimizes bias and includes a good cross-section of the population of interest,” Mrystol said.

The survey findings report found that over half of the UA student population has experienced sexual harassment since enrolling in the university. More than 25% of UA students experienced instances of sexual harassment from UA faculty, instructors or other staff members. Nearly half of UA students stated they experienced sexual harassment from fellow students.

A table from the 2019 UA Campus Climate survey results display student confidence in the university’s response to
reports of sexual misconduct. Graphic courtesy of the 2019 Campus Climate Survey.
A graphic from the 2019 UA Campus Climate survey shows that 5.5% of students that experienced sexual harassment reported it. Graphic courtesy of the 2019 UA Campus Climate Survey.

The survey findings report shows a clear contrast of incidents to report rates. Only one out of six UA students reported sexual misconduct to the proper authorities.

“I would encourage folks to begin from a position of believing what students told us about their experiences,” Mrystol said. “I would encourage students, staff and faculty to be mindful of the information presented in the report when interacting with students, many of whom may have recently experienced one or more of the behaviors examined in the survey.”

Chief Title IX Officer Mary Gower interpreted the report as an indication of the success of the Title IX training and bystander intervention programs at UA.

“I anticipated [Alaska’s high rate of sexual assault] to be demonstrated more significantly in the data,” Gower said. “At UA, there appears to be a robust student culture that understands and values respectful sexual and dating relationships and that prioritizes social and emotional support for victims of sexual misconduct and dating violence.”

Title IX training must be completed by Oct. 31 for all degree-seeking students at UAA, according to an email sent out by Chancellor Cathy Sandeen on Sept. 11.

“It is up to each and every one of us to create the inclusive, respectful and safe environment that our students and our colleagues deserve,” Gower said.  “If you see something wrong, please speak up and do not let inappropriate behavior go unchecked and unreported.”

Reports of sexual harassment, as well as discrimination or retaliation, may be filed using the UAA Office of Equity and Compliance online incident report form, emailing [email protected] or calling (907) 786-0818. 

Confidential reports can be made through the UAA Safe app. 

For more information on reporting, visit the UAA Office of Equity and Compliance website or their physical address at 3980 University Lake Drive, Ste. 106.