Q&A - Campus Climate Assessment

Q: Why was the survey developed?
A: The survey was developed by the Washington state community and technical college system to comply with a mandate from the Washington state Legislature. The results will allow us to better address and prevent this type of violence from happening.

Q: Where can I read the law requiring this survey be completed?
A: You can find information about SSB 5518 — including the final bill, bill reports, how legislators voted, and dates of action — at the Washington state Legislature’s website.

Q: What was the vote count in the Washington state House of Representatives and Senate that passed this bill?
A: The votes in the Washington state Legislature whether to pass the bill requiring colleges and universities to conduct a campus climate assessment were:
Yes, pass
No, do not pass
Senate
48
0
House
85
12

Q: Why are these questions being asked?
A: The questions in the survey were carefully written so colleges and resource centers could best determine attitudes and prevalence of sexual and physical violence on- and off-campus. With a clear understanding, people who support students and employees will be better equipped to address this kind of violence and prevent it from happening.

Q: Who developed the survey?
A: The Uniform Campus Climate Assessment was developed by SBCTC and an advisory committee with representatives from colleges and the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. Group members were:
Student Services Commission
Luca Lewis,
Whatcom Community College
Ruby Hayden,
Lake Washington Institute of Technology
Human Resources Commission
Kim Garza,
Big Bend Community College
Mark Rogstad,
Yakima Valley Community College
Campus Climate Assessment Communications Plan 11 | P a g e
Research & Planning Commission
Stephanie Dykes,
North Seattle College
Alec Campbell,
Bellevue College
State Board for Community and Technical Colleges
Joe Holliday,
Director of Student Services
Darby Kaikkonen,
Policy Research Director
John Boesenberg,
Deputy Executive Director for Human Resources

Q: Who reviewed and OK’d the questions in the survey?
A: Trained, professional student services, research, and human resource experts from the Washington state community and technical college system wrote the survey questions. The survey was also reviewed and approved by the Washington State Institutional Review Board (WSIRB), part of the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. The WSIRB is responsible for looking at all research questions and tools before a survey starts. They are also responsible for ensuring the rights of all respondents are protected throughout the entire survey process.

Q: Why is this survey being sent now?
A: The survey adjacent to April to coincide with Sexual Assault Awareness Month, after it received approval from the Washington state Institutional Review Board. Since awareness and prevention are already a national topic during the month, representatives from the community and technical college system thought conducting this survey near April made logical sense.

Q: Who got the survey?
A: College staff and faculty will receive the survey, with the following exceptions:

  • Exclude student workers
  • Exclude contract workers
  • Exclude volunteers
  • Exclude interns
  • Exclude trustees

All students, as defined by the Campus Climate Assessment Oversight Group, will receive the survey, with the following exceptions:

  • Exclude new students starting spring quarter
  • Exclude under age 18
  • Exclude over age 18 with legal guardian
  • Exclude ESL (all levels)

Q: Will people know what the survey was about?
A: Each person who received the survey also received two emails from the college president to their college email. The email stated what the survey was, when to expect it, why it was being conducted, and who to contact with questions or concerns.

  • Employees received an email 14 days prior to receiving the survey. They received a second email the day before/the same day as the survey was sent.
  • Students received an email 12 days prior to receiving the survey. They received a second email the day before/the same day as the survey was sent.

In addition to the emails from the college president, the first page of the survey contained a cover letter stating:

  • the purpose of the survey
  • expected time to complete the survey (between 30 and 45 minutes)
  • a statement that “some of the questions are explicit and graphic” with an example
  • that participation is completely voluntary
  • that participants are and will remain completely anonymous
  • what will be done with the survey results
  • contact information for the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges and the Washington State Institutional Review Board
  • a list of resources if participants have a harmful reaction to the survey

Q: Were the people who got the survey required to consent in order to participate?
A: All survey participants are required to verify their consent before they may participate in the survey. The consent form states:
By clicking “I agree to participate” at the end of the page, I agree to the following:

  • The purpose of the survey described above has been explained to me.
  • I voluntary consent to take the survey.
  • I have been told that I can refuse to answer any question or leave the survey at any time, without penalty.
  • I have been given contact information if I have questions about the survey.
  • I have been told that I may contact the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges if I have questions about the survey.
  • I have been told that I may call the Washington State Institutional Review Board if I have questions about my rights or if I have concerns or complaints about the survey.
  • I am 18 years of age or older.
  • I agree to participate, click here to begin survey:

Q: Who will see the survey results?
A: All answers to the survey are and will remain anonymous. Results will be gathered by the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges and put into a summary report for all of the state’s community and technical colleges. From there, the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges must report the survey findings to the governor and the Legislature’s higher education committees.

Q: What will be done with the survey results?
A: All individual answers to the survey are and will remain anonymous. The survey results will be summarized and shared with the state’s community and technical colleges, the governor and the Legislature’s higher education committees.

Q: What if I’m enrolled in or work at more than one college or university? Do I need to answer survey questions more than once?
A: You may receive the survey more than once if you’re enrolled in or work at more than one college or university. Respondents will be asked to answer the survey based on their experiences at all college campuses where they are enrolled or employed.

Q: Is the survey anonymous?
A: Yes, your responses to the survey are anonymous. The survey does not ask for any personally identifiable information and the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges have no way to trace answers back to a respondent. All answers are and will remain completely anonymous. Survey results will be compiled into a summary report for distribution to the community and technical colleges, the governor and the Legislature’s higher education committees; no individual answers will be part of the summary report.

Q: How do I know my identity remains anonymous and my rights are protected?
A: Implementation of the survey is overseen by the Washington State Institutional Review Board (WSIRB), which is part of the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. The purpose of the WSIRB review is to ensuring survey participants’ rights are protected throughout the entire survey process. This includes making sure the purpose of the survey is clear, respondents are informed of the risks and benefits of the survey, the right to not answer any question or leave the survey at any time, identify how the data will be used, and how anonymity will be protected. For a survey of this nature, anonymity is an imperative, and the state board is committed to protecting the rights of survey respondents.

Q: Are questions graphic?
A: Some of the questions are graphic. Respondents are asked if they’ve experienced specific sexual activities without their consent. The questions are posed this way so respondents are clear about the meaning of the question and to help student services, human resources and research professionals best understand the prevalence of sexual and physical violence on campuses. Understanding the problem is an important part of appropriately addressing sexual and physical violence and finding ways of preventing it and responding when it happens.

Q: How long will the survey be open to accept responses?
A: The survey will be open and accepting responses for two weeks.

Q: How long will the survey take to complete?
A: The survey will take about 30 to 45 minutes to complete.

Q: Can I stop and restart the survey?
A: Survey respondents cannot stop and restart the survey. They would have to start over.

Q: Do I have to complete the survey?
A: Your participation in the survey is completely voluntary. You do not need to answer every question, and you may opt out of the survey at any time.

Q: What happens if I don’t complete the survey?
A: Your participation in the survey is completely voluntary. You will not be penalized if you do not participate in the survey. The college will not be penalized if you do not participate in the survey. Colleges, the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, and Washington state will not know if you choose to participate in the survey or not. If you choose, you do not have to take the survey at all. If you want to participate, you do not have to answer every question.

Q: Whom may I direct questions and concerns about the survey to?
A: If you have questions about the survey, you may contact Joe Holliday, director of student services, or Darby Kaikkonen, policy research director, at the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges at 360-704-4400 or campusclimatesurvey@sbctc.edu.
If you have questions about your rights, or if you have concerns or complaints about the survey, you may contact the Washington State Institutional Review Board (WSIRB). The WSIRB oversees this survey to make sure the rights of people who take part are protected. You may reach them at 1-800-583-8488. You do not have to give your name.

Q: What resources are available to people who have experienced sexual assault?
A: All of Washington’s community and technical colleges support and care for people who have experienced sexual and physical violence. Colleges take every reasonable step to prevent violence from happening to their students and employees.
On- and off-campus resources for support include:

  • College Title IX coordinators
  • College counseling centers
  • Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs