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March 13, 2019

First campus-wide survey to benchmark culture and perceptions

Michigan State University March 19 will launch its first campus-wide survey focused on the culture, perceptions and policies associated with relationship violence and sexual misconduct (RVSM) among undergraduate students, graduate/professional students, faculty and staff.

The Know More @ MSU survey will gather information deemed crucial for continuing the positive transformation of the campus culture related to RVSM.

The MSU Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct Expert Advisory Workgroup, which is leading the survey initiative, identified a need for more and richer data that could be used to inform prevention programming, policy development, resource provision and culture change on campus.

“We recognized that while various surveys have been done with subgroups of our campus community over the years, we don’t have consistent information from students, staff or faculty about perspectives and experiences related to RVSM issues,” said Carrie Moylan, an assistant professor in the School of Social Work and member of the RVSM Workgroup. “As we met with many campus constituents last spring, we heard a desire for more information that can be used to shape the ongoing process of examining our campus culture and ensuring that programs and resources are available and appropriate to the needs of everyone in our community.”

MSU contracted with an external research organization, RTI International, to conduct the survey in order to promote trust and transparency in the process and results. RTI is an independent, non-profit research organization with extensive experience designing and administering surveys of this kind. The identity of all respondents, as well as individual-level responses to survey questions, will remain confidential and participation in the survey will be completely voluntary for students, faculty and staff.

“This survey is an important opportunity for all members of our campus community — students, staff and faculty — to share their voice and their perspectives on our university,” MSU Acting President Satish Udpa said. “As an educational institution, we understand that decisions about programming and policy should be informed by evidence. This survey is an opportunity for us to learn more about the experiences and perspectives of our community so that we can engage in meaningful culture change and ensure that resources are available to those who need them.”

MSU students participated in an Association of American Universities campus climate survey in 2015.

“We hope that everyone will take the survey so that we have a rich and full picture of the campus culture,” Moylan said. “Every voice is important, which is why we designed this survey for all undergraduate students, graduate/professional students, staff and faculty.”

Invitations to complete the survey will be sent via email. A final survey report is anticipated in the fall of 2019 and will be shared with the MSU community via the Know More campus survey website.

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