Survey says — campus climate safe, welcoming

Response rate well above national average, as more than 3,300 students provide administration with road map for future

According to the results of a recent survey, students topped national averages when it came to feelings of safety, welfare and commitment to diversity while at UND. The data from the survey will help University staff and administrators identify ways to improve UND's campus climate. Photo by Shawna Schill/UND Today.

According to results of a recent survey, UND students’ feelings on campus safety, welfare and commitment to diversity were better than national averages. The data from the survey will help University staff and administrators identify ways to improve UND’s campus climate. Photo by Shawna Schill/UND Today.

The results are in.

Cara Halgren

Cara Halgren

UND is doing a lot right when it comes to campus climate, said Cara Halgren about the results of a recent survey on student experiences with diversity, inclusion and sexual violence.

The survey was administered by the Education Advisory Board (EAB), which conducts similar surveys nationwide, said Halgren, vice president for student affairs and diversity. Results will give campus staff and administrators a baseline as they work to improve the student experience.

An action item for Goal 5 (foster a welcoming, safe and inclusive campus climate) of the One UND Strategic Plan, the survey will continue to be administered each year to track progress. More information is available here.

“This is the first time we’ve done the survey,” said Halgren, who added she was pleased with the response rate for UND, which was 26 percent compared to 17 percent nationally.  A total of 3,301 UND students took the survey.

“A 26 percent completion rate is outstanding,” said Halgren. “And the results are generally very positive.”

A summary of survey results is available here.

Japan culture night

Regarding diversity, 83 percent of UND students, who took the survey, feel that UND leaders are committed to fostering diversity, and 76 percent felt welcomed and supported regardless of background. (Above) UND students participate in a Japan Culture Night, a signature University signature devoted to diversity on campus. Photo by Tyler Ingham/UND Today.

Quick takes

Students feel safe at UND, according to the survey, in which 97 percent of students agreed with the statement, compared to 92 percent of students at public institutions across the nation.

UND students also feel that faculty are concerned about their welfare. Eighty-five percent agreed with that statement, while 81 percent of students at public institutions felt that way. Sixty-eight percent felt that UND administrators are concerned about them, compared to 69 percent nationally.

A majority of UND students, 55 percent, said they had received sexual violence prevention training in the past year, and that number climbed to 67 percent for first-year UND students. Nationally, 61 percent of all public university students and 74 percent of first-year students reported receiving training.

Six percent of UND students reported experiencing sexual violence during the school year, compared to 7 percent nationally. Students – 78 percent – said they would know where to get help if they experienced sexual violence, compared to 81 percent nationally. UND students said they believe campus authorities would take a report seriously at 81 percent, compared to 79 percent nationally.

Regarding diversity, 83 percent of UND students feel that UND leaders are committed to fostering diversity, and 76 percent felt welcomed and supported regardless of background.

About 35 percent of students said they feel like they need to hide some aspects of their identity to fit in at UND, compared to 40 percent nationally. That number climbed to 46 percent for UND students who identified as black or African American, and 40 percent nationally.

The number of students who reported discrimination or harassment was significantly below national numbers, with 12 percent at UND and 18 percent at public institutions. Just 7 percent of UND students reported the incident, compared to 9 percent nationally.

Donna Smith

Donna Smith

Next steps

Now that they have the data, UND staff and administrators will begin identifying ways to improve the campus climate as they work to fulfill the goals of the Strategic Plan.

Cassie Gerhardt

Cassie Gerhardt

“We’ll take this information to campus groups that are working on sexual violence prevention, diversity and inclusion issues,” said Donna Smith, director of EEO/Affirmative Action. “The president has directed us to develop a series of action items to move the campus forward and continue to improve.”

“There are things we need to work on,” said Sara Kaiser, assistant director of the office of student rights and responsibilities. “The response rate was better than expected. The information we learned from the survey will help us highlight what we are doing well, and what areas deserve more attention.”

“To do the work, we need a baseline,” said Cassie Gerhardt, associate dean of students. “This provides a roadmap for priorities.”