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Students surveyed about sexual violence

FGCU wants to know what students think about sexual violence.
A voluntary survey was sent Oct. 5 to all FGCU students from the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance. The survey aims to collect student input about how the University is handling Title IX compliance.
“This is the first time the survey is being done to my understanding,” said Brandon Washington, director of the OIEC.
Title IX is the federal civil law that prohibits discrimination based on gender. FGCU has an executive committee to coordinate the compliance of this law, and Washington is the head of it.
“The committee wanted to be proactive, and this was the measure taken,” Washington said.
In the email sent by the OIEC, they specify that the survey is being conducted to “gauge (students’) knowledge, perception, understanding and level of satisfaction with the university’s efforts to prevent and address sexual violence.”
The results of the survey cannot be personally identifiable. This means students can fill it out anonymously. Also, students who do decide to complete the survey can print the “thank you” message at the end of the survey and take it to the university bookstore where they will receive a 15 percent discount on any single clothing or gift item. However, the 15 percent discount cannot be combined with any other offers or discounts.
“We want to make sure we’re doing everything we can,” Washington said. “We want to know what their perceptions are, if they comfortable reporting, do they know what the policies are.”
The survey starts with general questions that inquire about the student’s age, current gender identity and year in school. It also requests students to classify themselves as either an athletics team member, fraternity/sorority member, registered sport club member, registered student organization member, student employee or none of the above.
Students are then asked if they are aware of the University’s non-discrimination statement, the policies and procedures related to the prohibition of sex discrimination and harassment and if they know who is the FGCU’s Title IX coordinator and how to reach him.
Questions about the students’ personal history with sexual violence awareness and prevention training and information sessions are also listed in the survey.
FGCU has a mandatory training, My Student Body, for all first-year students.
In the survey, students are asked if they think first-year students should be required to complete at least one hour of training solely on sexual violence awareness and prevention, in addition to the mandatory current one – My Student Body. Following that, the survey asks students what means would be most effective for them among online training, in-person presentation, in-person interactive training, some combination of the first three or none of the above.
As an attempt to assess the level of satisfaction, the survey inquires if students think FGCU offers a sufficient amount of information about this topic.
Some of the resources students who might be victims of sexual violence can contact to report or discuss their situation are the Title IX coordinator, the Dean of Students’ Office, UPD and CAPS. In the survey, students are asked to rank each of these sources from strongly disagree, disagree, neither agree nor disagree, agree or strongly agree if they would feel confident discussing an issue with each of the resources. Then, they are asked to rank with the same classifications if they think that if they reported an incident it would be investigated in a timely manner, a respectful manner, a way that respects privacy and in a consistent manner regardless of the alleged perpetrator.
Students were also asked if they feel confident that the university would take the allegation seriously and take steps to separate the victim from the alleged perpetrator, such as change of housing assignment, separate class schedules and initiating a no contact order. It also asks about disciplining the perpetrator, such as a suspension or expulsion, if the investigation incriminated the perpetrator and if they would take the allegation of sexual violence seriously.
At the end of the survey, students are asked if they have any ideas or suggestions on how FGCU can better educate students about the issue and can better respond to the incidents.
Students can complete the survey until Nov. 6. They can also claim their discount at the bookstore until Dec. 7.
The aggregated totals will probably be released to the public after the university looks at them internally,” Washington said.
Any students who believe they have been a victim of sex discrimination or sexual violence while at FGCU are encouraged to contact the University’s office of Institutional Equity at  239-745-4366 or visit the OIEC website at fgcu.edu/equity. They are also encouraged to file a report with UPD at 239-590-1000.

About The Author

Jimena Tavel

Jimena Tavel is an international student from Tegucigalpa, Honduras. She's a sophomore pursuing a double major in journalism and communication, and a minor in French. Jimena is the news editor for Eagle News, and aspires to become a news anchor someday. Along with her passion for news, she also has a passion for good humor. She spends most of her spare time reading novels, trying new foods and training for her first marathon. If you ever plan a trip to Honduras, you should definitely get in touch with her! She recommends exploring her favorite island in the world - Roatán, and all that it has to offer.

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