In the wake of Harvey Weinstein’s reckoning, rally cries of #MeToo and #TimesUp are permeating everything from the Grammys to organizations of women farmworkers to Time Magazine’s 2017 Person of the Year. People of all genders across disciplines and industries are joining the momentum of this movement, and The University of New Mexico (UNM) is adding to the conversation through student training (The Grey Area), the LoboRESPECT Advocacy Center, and annual campus climate surveys.

In an aggregation of data compiled by Teen Vogue, we see that many studies illustrate the high rates of sexual assault and misconduct on college campuses. Since spring 2016, UNM has participated in campus climate surveys assessing sexual violence on campus, in order to create awareness and prevention programs based on anonymous input directly from our students.

This year, the Multi-College Bystander Efficacy Evaluation (McBEE) Campus Climate Survey will be sent to UNM undergraduate students age 18-24 at the end of March. Although the survey link will be sent from it is the UNM Campus Climate survey. Participants who complete the survey will be entered into a drawing for a variety of prizes. All survey responses and data will be de-identified to ensure the privacy of survey participants.

The results of the 2018 Campus Climate Survey will directly influence UNM’s approach to addressing sexual violence. To ensure the development of informed campaigns and programs, it’s critical that UNM receives a high rate of response to the survey.

“The higher the response rate, the more we can say our data accurately reflects what our students are experiencing,” says Heather Cowan, Title IX Coordinator at UNM’s Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO). “Without a high response rate, we’d be making significant decisions based on potentially inaccurate information.”

The McBEE survey is an abbreviated questionnaire modeled after the 2015 AAU campus climate survey, and includes measures of sexual and partner violence for both victimization and perpetration. The study is being conducted by the University of Kentucky with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Results of past surveys have been highly informative and have influenced the development of bystander programs at UNM.

 “We learned that our students know where to report sexual misconduct concerns, how to recognize potentially violent or dangerous situations, and students are starting to intervene,” Cowan says. “We intend to build on this and teach more of our campus population how to be an effective bystander and intervene in situations that promote sexual misconduct or could lead to sexual violence – safely!”

The most important part of this process is ensuring a high rate of participation from students, to guarantee that your voices are heard and represented. Everyone who takes the survey will be entered to win Amazon gift cards and UNM swag.

As part of an agreement with the Department of Justice, UNM pledged to conduct annual campus climate surveys. Participation in the McBEE survey meets that requirement at no cost to UNM.

Dr. Theresa Cruz, deputy director of UNM’s Prevention Research Center and faculty liaison for this study, notes that “The McBEE Campus Climate survey provides a way to track sexual harassment and sexual assault on the UNM Campus over time. This is critical for understanding the experiences of our students and the opportunities for improving prevention as well as response.”

The CDC highlights a number of programs that can be used to address the issue of sexual violence, with a focus on bystander intervention chief among them.

“As one of 24 colleges and universities involved in the McBEE study,” Cruz notes, “we are contributing to a broader understanding of campus sexual assault across the country and specifically to the role of bystander intervention programs as a mechanism for prevention.

We are at a key moment in time and it’s important to have all of our voices heard as we work to make UNM safer for everyone.”

Questions about the survey? Contact UNM’s Office of Equal Opportunity.