Archive for Tuesday, April 9, 1991

KU STARTING SURVEY ON SEXUAL VIOLENCE

April 9, 1991

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Comprehensive surveys about sexual violence were sent to 1,500 Kansas University students on Monday, and an official with the student affairs office today said he hoped students would take the surveys seriously.

The Office of Student Affairs Research Committee is conducting the survey. Jeff Weinberg, assistant vice chancellor for student affairs, said the survey was sent to a random sampling of students.

No individual, group or population was targeted in the survey, which is intended to gather data about attitudes and assumptions about sexual violence at KU as well as incidents known by the responding students.

Students were asked to complete the survey anonymously, and Weinberg said the mailing list already has been destroyed.

He said the Office of Institutional Research and Planning assisted student affairs with the survey, which he hopes will help KU officials determine how to confront sexual violence on campus.

"CERTAINLY, we have been concerned about the problems of sexual violence," Weinberg said. "There's been an awful lot of time and money spent on lighting, transportation and escort services on campuses . . . But there's never enough money. Throwing money at the problem doesn't get to the root of the problem, which is attitude."

Students targeted in the survey will be asked about their attitudes on sexual violence, rape and sexism. Weinberg said the survey also will allow students to make any comments they wish to about sexual violence.

Weinberg said the survey is patterned after a 1988 survey at Stanford University, the final report of which he said was released about eight weeks ago. However, he said KU's survey was developed specifically for the Lawrence campus.

The student affairs research committee was restructured in the summer and began reviewing literature on sexual violence in September, Weinberg said. He added that the office hopes to be able to release survey results during the fall semester.

"THE MOST important thing is to use the facts to identify on our campus those changes that we have to make in our educational programs here," Weinberg said. "We are hoping students will take the survey as seriously as it certainly is."

Students have been asked to return the surveys by April 22.

Lt. John Mullens of the KU police department said that because the surveys are confidential, police would not be able to respond to any incidents reported in the surveys.

"The individuals would have to come to us with incidents," he said.

No rapes were reported on the KU campus during 1990. Two rapes have been reported to KU police this semester. One occurred in July and was reported in March, and the other occurred in mid-January and was reported later that month.

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