This past week, the Office of Title IX at Drew asked students to fill out the Campus Climate Survey to gain perspective and feedback on the university’s handling of issues such as sexual assault, gender discrimination and gain a general understanding of the social climate at Drew.
According to Cynthia Garrett, the Title IX coordinator at Drew, the state of New Jersey mandates that this type of survey be sent out to all students once every three years. The Office of Title IX is expected to apply the results when updating their educational proceedings, resources and reporting methods of incidents of gender discrimination or sexual violence.
A university Title IX office is a requirement for every federally funded university and is responsible for addressing any form of sex discrimination and sexual violence on college campuses. Garrett expressed the importance of these surveys in updating yearly policies based on the current “campus climate.” The survey was sent to all Drew students’ emails and utilizes a third party in order to ensure anonymity. It is also completely voluntary and those who do not wish to answer questions about the sensitive topics presented are not required to.
The survey consists of multiple sections of questions, with portions evaluating how administration, students and faculty contribute to Drew’s overall climate. It also asks students how they view sexual assault at Drew and if they feel educated on how to handle instances of sexual assault.
The survey is formatted using a Likert scale with response options ranging from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree.” However, some students felt that the Likert scale formatting of the survey was not adequate for identifying specific issues that are occurring on Drew’s campus.
“I think ‘strongly agree, strongly disagree’ formats while helps get a collective data pool, it doesn’t get into the hyper specific details of an issue that is on campus,” said Joey Best (‘24). “And in order for an issue to get fully combatted it does need to get hyper specific.”
The third party, Higher Education Data Sharing Consortium (HEDS), will analyze the students’ data provided and provide the Title IX Office on the areas that need refinement.
“What we hope to get from this [data] is really students’ perceptions of how we’re doing, if they’re understanding the reporting part of it, the resource part of it, if there is an incident that happens, what are the next steps, who can they go to. That is our goal, to find out that information,” Cynthia Garrett, the Title IX Coordinator here at Drew said.
Best believes that there are some systematic shortcomings with administration and how they are handling these issues.
“There are people who have claims against them and have been investigated by the Title IX department and have been given Title IX violations and these people are still here. I don’t know how they are still on campus and I believe that it is some branch in the administration that is not doing their part in removing people that have proved themselves to be active threats,” Best said.
To get the largest sample and therefore the most accurate result, The Title IX Office is offering incentives to ensure more Drew students fill out the survey, such as coffee tumblers to the first 300 students who complete the survey. Additionally, Student Engagement has hosted events in the different complexes to encourage residential students to complete the survey. Some of these events include pizza parties and ice cream socials.
The Title IX Climate Survey will be available for Drew students to fill out up until Nov. 15. Please make sure to check your emails and complete the survey if you have not already done so. You can pick up your coffee tumbler at the Office of Student Engagement in EC 138.