NIU is asking students to SHARE their voices regarding sexual assault

April is national sexual assault awareness month and NIU is asking students to participate in the Sexual Harassment, Assault and Relationship Experiences (SHARE) Survey until Monday, April 30, 2018.

“This is an important tool NIU uses for understanding and addressing our university with regard to sexual harassment and sexual misconduct,” said Acting President Lisa Freeman and Acting Provost Chris McCord in a joint statement. “Student participation in the survey will help us to be more aware of the issues we need to address and will help us craft the tools needed to address them.”

The survey is voluntary, takes approximately 20 minutes to complete and provides students an opportunity to win fifty Huskie Bucks prizes valued at $50. The results are confidential, and participants cannot be identified by their responses.

“The SHARE survey has been planned and implemented by several offices working in partnership to make sure NIU is a more inclusive community,” explains Chief Diversity Officer Vernese Edghill-Walden. “Now we need to hear from students. Their voices are important and now more than ever we need to hear from them.”

Members from the Office of Academic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; the Office of Affirmative Action and Equity Compliance; the Departments of Psychology and Sociology; the Presidential Commissions; and the Division of Student Affairs are working with the Center for Governmental Studies to conduct the survey for the second time.

“The SHARE survey is the result of years of hard work, which began as part of the implementation of the Violence Against Women Act in 2015,” said Kristen Myers, director of the Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality and member of the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women. “The research team is comprised of dedicated, highly-qualified survey researchers who also have the expertise and sensitivity required to successfully gather data on experiences that are difficult for people to talk about.”

Since the survey launched on Monday, March 26, over 800 students have shared their voices. Nearly 500 students have completed the survey with an additional 350 starting but not completing it in its entirety. Demographic information shows that more female students have taken the survey than males students and third-year students have had the highest response rate.

“This survey allows anyone, no matter how they identify, to voice their experience–and that helps everyone. What we learn will enable us to create a more inclusive and productive learning and living environment,” said Paul Kassel, dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts and member of the Presidential Commission on Interfaith Initiatives. “As a young theatre artist in graduate school, I didn’t have access to information or support that could have been of great help. That’s why I am urging people to participate.”

Faculty and staff across campus are encouraged to continue informing students about this opportunity to share their voices.

Here’s what students need to know about the SHARE Survey:

· Completing the survey gives them fifty chances to win fifty Huskie Bucks prizes valued at $50

· The survey is completely confidential

· It’s not mandatory, but their opinions and feedback are valued

· It will take approximately 20 minutes to complete and they can do it on their phones

· NIU will use the information to make decisions about how to better support our students

· The survey is open until Monday, April 30, 2018

· The survey can be taken by visiting go.niu.edu/share-survey

Faculty and staff who have questions about the SHARE survey can contact Monique Bernoudy at mbernoudy@niu.edu. Students who have questions or concerns about the SHARE survey can reach out to Principal Investigator Holly Orcutt, Ph.D., at horcutt@niu.edu.

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