Last week we attended the annual conference of the Association for Student Conduct Administration (ASCA) to learn what institutions can expect when addressing campus sexual misconduct in 2016. We noted three observations for the coming year:
1. Further legislation and guidance is still on the horizon
While Congress may not pass any legislation this year due to the 2016 election, institutions can expect more action from state governments and the federal Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights. Don't be surprised if we see further regulations regarding reporting requirements, campus climate surveys, and prevention initiatives in 2016. And don't discount federal legislative action—2017 isn’t that far down the road.
2. Institutions will continue to experience heightened scrutiny and pressure
Members of the campus community, prospective students and their families, and the general public will continue to show intense interest in how institutions are addressing sexual misconduct on campus. Conference attendees shared the questions they've received from prospective students, families, and student activists about campus safety, resources, and processes. Particularly when it comes to sharing information about campus climate survey data, the public is keen to learn more about sexual misconduct and what the institution is doing to address it on campus.
3. Climate surveys remain a centerpiece of the conversation about campus sexual misconduct
In 2015, many institutions conducted a campus climate survey. Annual climate surveys are an important part of an institution's response to sexual misconduct, particularly because of their ability to provide year-over-year data about the issue. Across 2016, institutions should expect continued pressure to survey students, share data about the issue on campus, and use survey data to improve campus prevention and response strategies.
We recently gathered feedback from the more than 30 institutions who piloted the EAB Campus Climate Survey in 2015 to hear their reflections on the survey process and hear their top "lessons learned," including:
- Developing a plan to share survey findings
- Sharing dedicated content with specific populations
- Using findings to target education and resources on campus
To learn more about the top lessons from the survey pilot, watch our on-demand webconference
Further guidance for the road ahead
The Student Affairs Forum offers a range of resources—including best-practice research, tools, and a climate survey—to help student affairs leaders address sexual misconduct on their campuses. Speak with an expert to learn more about the support we provide.
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