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UND survey shows students feel safe on campus

A campus survey at UND shows that students feel safe while on campus and that they believe school leaders are "visibly committed" to fostering respect for diversity at the school.

“Students gather around the eternal flame on UND’s campus.”
“Students gather around the eternal flame on UND’s campus.”

A campus survey at UND shows that students feel safe while on campus and that they believe school leaders are “visibly committed” to fostering respect for diversity at the school.

The survey was sent out to more than 12,800 degree-seeking students at the university during the spring semester and around 26 percent of students participated in the anonymous survey.

Peter Johnson, a spokesman for the university, said the student response rate was very high compared with past surveys.

The same survey was also done at 41 other universities, with an average response rate of 17 percent.

Sara Kaiser, assistant director of the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, said that the university was deliberate in when it conducted the survey, noting that it did not want to put it out after spring break when students may be less likely to want to take it. She added that without a high response rate, it’s hard to make meaning of the data.

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“Not that one survey is the be all, end all to the information you need, but it shows that we did send it in good faith to try and get as many students as possible to take it,” she said.  

Donna Smith, director of equal employment opportunity and affirmative action and the Title IX coordinator, said there is always room for improvement at the university. She said its goal was to find out what mattered to UND students and what they are experiencing, so UND can focus on students’ needs.

The numbers are a “baseline” for continued growth, the group said, and they want to continue to find out ways to be better in all aspects. It is not known whether this survey will continue on a yearly basis.

Results According to the survey, 97 percent of respondents reported that they felt safe at UND, which is higher than the national average of 93 percent.

Cara Halgren, vice president for student affairs and diversity, said many people recognize UND as being a campus that feels safer than others around the region.

“It’s positive,” she said. “Now we want to work forward and say ‘How do we even capitalize on that further to help people recognize that we continue to think this is an important aspect of who we are as a community?’ ”

Students were also asked about their perceptions of faculty and administrators, 85 percent of UND students felt that faculty were genuinely concerned about their welfare, while 68 percent felt the same about administrators.

Less than 20 percent of respondents said they had seriously considered leaving their school since the beginning of the current school year, another number that is higher than the national cohort of whom 22 percent of respondents said they had thought about leaving their school.

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Around 83 percent of respondents said they felt school leaders were “visibly committed to fostering respect for diversity at UND.” But, 76 percent said they felt all students were welcomed and supported at the school, regardless of their background.

Sexual violence Students were also asked about their experience with sexual violence and sexual violence training on campus. About 55 percent of respondents said they received prevention information or training about sexual violence since the beginning of the school year. Six percent, reported that they had experienced at least one incident of sexual violence since the beginning of the school year. According to the survey, respondents among the national cohort most commonly experienced being fondled, kissed, or rubbed up against.

Around 78 percent of respondents at UND said they knew where to go if they or a friend had experienced sexual violence. Additionally, 81 percent stated they believed the school would take the report seriously if it was reported to a campus authority.

Prior to college, around 17 percent of students said someone had attempted to have unwanted sexual contact with them, with 24 percent of female respondents saying they had experienced unwanted contact and 4 percent of male respondents saying the had.

Related Topics: UNIVERSITY OF NORTH DAKOTA
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