Interpersonal Violence Task Force sends out campus safety survey

Joshua Farmer

IMG 8444webChancellor Kenneth Peacock sent an email to faculty, staff and students Wednesday advocating participation in a campus climate survey to help the Interpersonal Violence Task Force.

“In an effort to gather additional information and to comply with a resolution agreement between Appalachian and the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education, the task force is launching a campus climate survey on interpersonal violence,” Peacock said in his email to students.

The link to the survey is available until Feb. 20, said Linda Foulsham, director of the Office of Equity, Diversity and Compliance and the Title IX coordinator.

“The survey data will be reviewed by the task force and result in recommendations regarding policies, programming and outreach and support to address the needs of our community,” Foulsham said.

Sociology professor and member of the Interpersonal Violence Task Force Amy Dellinger Page said the Task Force was created in May of 2012 and began meeting in August 2012.

The task force is divided into four sub-committees to work on the survey. The survey also addresses the sexual misconduct policy for the university, which was revised over the summer, Page said.

The task force will use the data from the survey to put together programming that addresses the university’s sexual misconduct policy, Page said.

“We are also looking at our support and outreach and the services we currently have in place for students so we can do a better job of informing students about the resources that are available to them,” Page said.

Along with the questions of whether people on campus have knowledge of the university’s policies and what constitutes various forms of sexual misconduct, the task force wants to “get an idea about rape myth acceptance,” Page said.

“We also want to know about bystander intervention attitudes because both of those can then inform what we are doing in terms of programming for our students to help them better understand,” she said.

The survey also asks questions about safety.

“There is also safety aspect on the survey that talk about are there certain times when you feel unsafe on campus and what are those locations so we can take information and do a better job of making our student feel safer,” Page said.

The survey is anonymous and should be completed honestly in order for the task force to get the best understanding of what is going on and how to make any improvements to the campus, Page said.

“Its about 15-20 minutes and it is on violence,” Dean of Students J.J. Brown said. “It’s on relationship violence, sexual assault, some of it’s going to talk about a number of key aspects to drive our interpersonal violence task force.”

Brown said after taking the survey students can enter to win prizes such as an iPad, parking pass, gas cards and money on AppCards.

Story: STEPHANIE SANSOUCY, Senior News Reporter

Photo: PAUL HECKERT, Photo Editor