Villanova continuously seeks information from the community to inform prevention efforts. This feedback allows the University to enhance existing programs, resources and services.
Purpose and Background
These surveys provide Villanova University with a clearer understanding of the scope and nature of sexual violence within our community. The information gathered allows those engaged in sexual violence prevention and response to enhance existing programs, resources and services to protect, educate and support Villanova students.
These surveys assess unwanted sexual experiences, stalking and relationship violence among Villanova’s students. The survey helps us to answer the following questions: How often do our students experience unwanted sexual contact, stalking and/or relationship violence? What impact do these experiences have on our students? To whom do students disclose and report these incidents? What are students’ perspectives on Villanova’s response to disclosures and reports of sexual violence? How can prevention and response efforts be improved?
The surveys are online surveys, which typically take approximately fifteen to thirty minutes to complete. Students are asked to participate via an online link to the survey which is emailed to their Villanova email address:
From: Villanova University Title IX Coordinator (email@example.com)
Subject: Villanova Sexual Violence Climate Survey for Students – Your Voice is Important!
Students' names or email addresses are never associated with their responses. While we recognize that this is a difficult issue, we ask students to try to answer every question on the survey. Completed surveys are necessary to capture accurate information regarding experiences, perceptions, norms and behaviors within our community; however, students may respond to only the questions with which they feel comfortable. The survey does ask for sensitive information that may cause discomfort, and students are able to choose NOT to respond to questions that are uncomfortable. If students choose not to respond to certain questions, they just leave the response blank and proceed through the survey.
Students may choose to skip questions or stop responding at any point.
Survey Administration and Anonymity
The surveys are administered by Villanova University’s Office of Strategic Planning and Institutional Effectiveness (OSPIE) using Qualtrics survey software. OSPIE follows very strict confidentiality policies and practices to maintain anonymity of respondents and confidentiality and security of the data.
These surveys are administered anonymously. No individually identifying information is asked for or collected. No one knows if or how a student responds to the survey. Students' only access to the survey is through the survey invitation which is sent to their own personal Villanova email address. In the invitation email is an anonymous link to the survey which is unique to each student. We ask that students not forward their anonymous survey link to anyone else. To ensure full confidentiality of student responses until they complete the survey, we advise students to not give anyone access to their personal Villanova email account.
The software itself is set to record the data anonymously. Within the software is the capability to monitor returns and enable reminders to be sent to non-respondents. However, that information is not available nor accessible to OSPIE or the University or anyone. Further, when the survey is submitted no identifying information is collected or written to the database. There is always a remote risk that an experienced computer hacker could access responses, but the survey software being used, Qualtrics, has an encryption mechanism that minimizes this risk.
Essentially, the surveys are administered with the anonymizing feature of the survey software and there is no way to identify who completed the survey or what an individual may have said.
All data collected through these survey processes are analyzed by OSPIE and reported in the aggregate. Summary data is reported and utilized by the University President, Cabinet, Senior Leadership and those responsible for the University’s policy and programming related to sexual violence prevention and response. The key results of the surveys are shared with the community through in-person sessions and through the MyNova portal by searching “Sexual Violence.”
Risks and Benefits of Participation
While students who have completed the surveys are providing information that can be used to help create a safer and healthier campus community, there are few, if any direct benefits to their participation. We anticipate minimal risk for students participating in the survey. Given the personal and sexual nature of the questions, it is possible that some participants will experience emotional discomfort while taking the survey.
If, at any time, students wish to talk with someone about the issue of sexual violence and/or the resources and services available at Villanova, they are welcome to visit www.villanova.edu/sexualassault. This guide can also be used to identify 24/7 and confidential resources at Villanova and within the local community.
We truly appreciate the time that it takes to complete the survey. As a thank you for completing the survey, and consistent with our Augustinian value of Caritas, we donate $1, on behalf of each student who completes the survey, to one of the following organizations that serve those impacted by sexual violence:
Survey Key Findings
Numerous discussions are typically held with our community about the climate survey results. These discussions include students, faculty, staff and University leadership and allow Villanova to facilitate open dialogue about this critical issue, review the survey results with key groups, and talk about available resources and ways in which we all can help.
The University continues to hold conversations about this issue in order to expand and strengthen our services and resources to address and eliminate sexual violence within our community.
The survey results can be viewed by logging into MyNova and searching “Sexual Violence Climate Survey.”
Questions or concerns regarding this survey can be directed to Villanova's Title IX Coordinator, Ms. Ryan Rost (610) 519-8805 firstname.lastname@example.org