CMU failed to effectively publicize new SARV data
University President Subra Suresh and Provost Farnam Jahanian sent an email out on Thursday that contained the results of the sexual assault and relationship violence (SARV) survey that was given in April of last year to the undergraduate and graduate students of Carnegie Mellon.
The survey was part of an effort by the Office of Student Affairs, the Office of Student Life, the Office of Title IX Initiatives, General Counsel, and the Office of Institutional Research and Analysis. A campus-wide advisory committee began meeting in 2014 to develop the survey.
In addition to the link to a 60-page document of the survey results, the email noted that many of our peer institutions are releasing data from similar surveys, and that the survey represents a concerted effort by the university to address sexual assault on campus. The email also announced three university-wide town hall events that will be taking place from Oct. 19-28.
The Tartan is happy that the university is sharing the results of this detailed survey with students, faculty, and staff. It is of the utmost importance that the most recent data be available to the members of the community that it describes.
However, sending this information out just once in a long email leaves much to be desired. The administration should have made a more serious effort to publicize the survey's results and produce a condensed version of them that would give people their major takeaway. A Thursday afternoon email with a buried link does not show a commitment to getting the word out there. Additionally, we are hopeful that there will be more than just three town halls at which students will have the opportunity to engage in meaningful discussions about sexual assault in our campus community.
The efforts of the survey show a hopeful beginning for launching these tough conversations from an administrative level, but more follow-up and attention is necessary for a commitment that will last beyond the survey.