The purpose of the Higher Education Data Sharing (HEDS) Sexual Assault Campus Climate Survey is to assess students’ perceptions of the campus climate for unwanted sexual contact and assault, perceptions on how the institution responds to sexual assault and how often they have experienced unwanted sexual contact or sexual assault. There are several sections in the survey including general climate, assessing unwanted sexual contact and assault, context, and disclosure (given only to those respondents who indicated they were assaulted), and demographics.
The questions ask the level to which a student agrees with statements about members of the University community, expected University responses to situations, and views on sexual assault and reporting. Many questions ask about Title IX information, process, and outcomes. Following these general questions, the survey asks more questions about sexual assault, including participants, situations, bystanders, locations, and acts.
2021 Survey Results
During the Fall 2021 semester, undergraduate students were encouraged to complete a survey garnering perceptions of campus climate around unwanted sexual contact at Pace University. The HEDS Sexual Assault Campus Climate survey is used to gather data on experiences of sexual assault, perception of institutional responses to sexual assault, and understanding of campus resources and reporting procedures. Data from the HEDS survey is used to make targeted improvements for Pace University's prevention and intervention of sexual misconduct.
Oversight and distribution of the HEDS survey was led by a partnership between The Office of Sexual and Interpersonal Wellness (OSIW) at Pace University, and the Office of Planning, Assessment, and Institutional Research (OPAIR). The mission of OSIW is to prevent and intervene in situations of sexual assault, dating violence, harassment, and stalking through individual student support, educational and awareness raising events, and workshops for the entire campus community. OPAIR facilitates assessment, planning and decision-making to support a culture of continuous improvement at Pace.
As an incentive for students to participate in the HEDS survey, OSIW and OPAIR pledged to donate $1 to the Pace CARES Fund for each completed survey. The Pace CARES Fund provides emergency financial relief to students who face unforeseeable economic hardships. Contributions are used to award students need-based relief to support them in the continuation of their academic careers. We exceeded our response rate goal and totaled 954 responses. With the support of Tiffany Hamilton, our former Chief Diversity Officer, this total was rounded up to a $1,000 donation to the Pace CARES Fund.
This initiative would not have been as successful without the help of our staff, faculty, and students who increased awareness of the HEDS survey and encouraged participation on both undergraduate campuses. Special thanks to the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Housing and Residential Life, the Athletics Department, Faculty Council, the Women and Gender Studies Department, the Peer Educators of OSIW, First Year Experience, and all the student organizations who supported with outreach. Lastly, special thanks to each and every student who used their voice to comment on sensitive content matter for the sustained health and wellbeing of our campus community.