The Sexual Assault Prevention and Education Center (SAPEC) at the University of Kansas is conducting a study about sexual violence attitudes in freshmen at KU.
SAPEC is conducting the 'Prevention is Possible' study to better understand their impact on the KU community and what areas they can improve. The survey is open for freshmen to take until Sept. 24. Participants can receive a $5 KU Dining gift card for taking the survey.
“[The Prevention is Possible survey] is really intended to be a survey to help us understand the experiences of first-year students at the University of Kansas, as it relates to the topic of sexual violence in terms of attitudes, beliefs, behaviors and perceptions that they have around the university,” said Dustin Struble, the assistant director of SAPEC.
SAPEC wants to understand their impact at KU and how best to serve KU students in preventing sexual violence on campus.
“Ultimately, we might intend to have a certain impact but as we know impact over intent,” said Jordan Smoot, a graduate assistant for SAPEC. “If we are having an impact that is different from what we are intending, we need to know that. And if there are ways we can improve and support our students better, that's important for us to know.”
SAPEC wants to continue doing this survey every year with the graduating class of 2025, meaning participants would take the survey four different times. By collecting data over the next four years, SAPEC can work towards improving their education and support, Struble said.
“Sexual violence is not just a SAPEC issue,” he said. “It is a student issue.”
The survey is one of many different things SAPEC is doing to help prevent sexual violence on campus, Smoot said.
“We’re never going to be able to fully solve sexual violence,” Smoot said. “But what we can do is prevent and minimize risk to help our students."
SAPEC is encouraging as many eligible students as possible to participate in this survey that takes 20 to 25 minutes to complete. SAPEC is getting the word out to students through emails, social media and in-person events. Surveys like these allow for student voices to be heard, Struble said.
“I think that even if people think they don't have anything meaningful to share, or even if they think that sexual violence is something that doesn’t affect them, it does,” Struble said. “It affects so many of us.”
This survey was made possible by a grant from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. SAPEC also received funding from KU Student Senate.
The funding allowed for SAPEC to work with researchers in designing and executing the survey, and also allowed for participants to receive a $5 KU Dining gift card.
“The least we can do is provide you maybe a Starbucks coffee or some type of treat,” Struble said.
Freshmen have until Sept. 24 to take the survey online.