On April 18, the University of Chicago’s Climate Survey Project released the Spring 2016 Campus Climate Survey in an e-mail to the entire campus community from Provost Eric D. Isaacs.
The survey, which focuses on the experience of underrepresented and potentially marginalized groups, is the follow-up to another survey sent out in spring quarter of 2015. Both surveys are part of the University’s ongoing response to complaints about the safety of UChicago campus life raised in fall of the 2014–15 academic year.
The Spring 2015 Climate Survey asked mainly about issues of sexual misconduct on campus. Responses to the survey prompted the University to alter the 2015 O-Week programming and develop mandatory sexual misconduct prevention and awareness trainings for all members of the campus community, which will begin on July 1 of this year. The survey also led to the creation of umatter.uchicago.edu, a website intended to consolidate information about University resources and policies regarding harassment.
From January 7 to February 16 this year, the University hosted a series of public forums to gather community suggestions for the content of the Spring 2016 Campus Climate Survey. The material of the survey was ultimately developed by a steering committee made up of faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates.
According to the UChicago Campus and Student Life website, the responses collected through the survey are not anonymous, because the survey is accessed through an individualized link. However, information that could potentially connect particular students to their responses will only be available to select members of the survey’s steering committee. The website also emphasizes that responses to the survey do not constitute official misconduct reports.
After the survey ends on April 29, the University will begin to process the data gathered and will provide updates on the Campus Climate Project website. According to the e-mail sent out by Isaacs, “The results of this survey will foster much needed dialogue and action that will help the UChicago community to create an environment where all members can participate fully and freely.”