Published: Nov. 10, 2021

Data about the prevalence of sexual assault and other forms of sexual misconduct impacting college students has remained unchanged for decades, experts say. Students can help CU Boulder further examine the prevalence of sexual misconduct and the impact it has on our community by completing the 2021 Campus Culture Survey, which is in email inboxes now.

CU Boulder first collected data about sexual misconduct on campus in 2015, which gave the university additional insights about more effective ways to reduce it, increase reporting and improve support for students, said Teresa Wroe, senior director of education and prevention for the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance (OIEC).

“We have seen reporting of sexual misconduct, assault and harassment increase dramatically since 2015,” said Wroe. “The survey results at that time indicated only 8% of students who had experienced sexual assault reported it to the university, and we were able to expand education and make reporting more accessible in response. 

“Use of confidential advocacy and counseling services through the Office of Victim Assistance (OVA) has significantly increased as well, which is critical for addressing the impact sexual assault has on survivors,” Wroe added. 

Much more work needs to be done to keep these problems from occurring in the first place and some of that has to begin even before students come to college, according to Wroe. 

“The university continues to work toward improving our programs and practices to reduce all forms of sexual misconduct,” Wroe said. “The 2021 Campus Culture Survey will help us do that.”

Wroe said this year’s survey is an expanded assessment to evaluate other harms, including identity-based harassment and the impacts these issues have on students’ sense of community connection, support and respect, and of being valued by the university.

To take the Campus Culture Survey and share their experiences, students can look in their CU email inboxes for a Nov. 8 message from JB Banks, dean of students and associate vice chancellor for student affairs, which includes a personal link to the survey. The subject line reads “your link to the Culture Survey.”

To learn more about the resources available both on and off campus, including options for reporting sexual misconduct and other harms, and skills for helping others, visit Don’t Ignore It.