Months after University of Richmond asked students to answer its UR Campus Climate survey on Sexual Violence and Bystander Intervention, Richmond still cannot report its findings, as the response rate is too small, Dean Juliette Landphair said at the town hall forum on sexual misconduct policies Tuesday.
“[Peter] LeViness, who oversaw that climate survey, felt that we didn’t get a significant enough response to use that information in an effective way on campus,” Landphair said.
LeViness, director of counseling and psychological services, wrote in an email in October that that 718 students had responded to the UR Campus Climate survey on Sexual Violence and Bystander Intervention. Out of the 718 responses, about 350 were finished surveys, LeViness said Thursday.
He said he had been hoping to receive 800-1000 responses.
“We were very disappointed in the fall, because we didn’t get a very good response,” LeViness said. “The numbers are not usable, because the response rate was so low.”
Virginia Commonwealth University used the same survey and also had a low response, LeViness said. In January 2014, VCU and Richmond received a $499,984 grant from The U.S. Department of Justice to educate students and law enforcement about sexual assault, dating and domestic violence and stalking.
On Tuesday, The Collegian published its preliminary results of its Campus Attitudes on Sexual Assault survey, which received responses from 34 percent of undergraduate students.
Ted Lewis, associate director of common ground, explained that the university’s survey must be deemed acceptable by the Institution Review Board to be released.
“Because we are such a small campus, we want to protect everyone’s identity that participated,” Lewis said. “So there’s a certain threshold we need to pass in order to even make the information public.”
Richmond’s IRB protects human subjects of research, and any UR research involving human subjects must be IRB approved before the research is conducted, according to its website.
The Collegian did not need nor did it receive IRB approval to conduct and publish its survey.
Although Richmond has not received IRB approval, Kerry Fankhauser, Associate Dean and Deputy Title IX Coordinator, would like to release some of the survey data.
“There might be pieces that the IRB won’t let us, but I would like to release something,” Fankhauser said. “I just think it looks really hinky to have this survey you put out there and you announce on campus, and then we never say a word about it. So I would definitely push for that, if there’s anything we can release.”
Richmond, however, cannot release any data, LeViness said.
“So basically we’re going back to the drawing board saying that wasn't very effective and how do we get more accurate information,” LeViness said.
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