Students release petition in response to delayed climate survey data release

On Thursday, students launched the #WeMatterTU campaign with a Sexual Violence Prevention Petition in response to the delayed release of the Sexual Misconduct Climate Survey. The petition addresses several administrators by name, including Tania Tetlow, Tulane senior vice president and chief of staff, President Michael Fitts and Newcomb-Tulane College Dean James MacLaren.

The Tulane University Sexual Misconduct Survey Working Group designed and facilitated the Sexual Misconduct Climate Survey earlier this year. The survey, which was administered from Jan. 29-Feb. 19, was intended to measure rates of sexual violence and harassment among students in order for the university to better address these issues.

According to a Hullabaloo article published Feb. 2, Gretchen Clum, associate professor and lead researcher on the climate survey project, planned to analyze the climate survey results with a team of graduate assistants over the summer so the data could be released at this year’s “Shifting the Paradigm” event on Sept. 19.

At the event, however, Tetlow, announced that the results of the survey will instead be released Jan. 31, 2018. Tetlow and Meredith Smith, assistant provost for Title IX and Clery Compliance, cited high participation rates as a reason why the university needs additional time to analyze and release the data.

The petition released Thursday acknowledges Tulane’s “historic” 47 percent student response rate but calls on administrators to release the survey data this fall, as was originally planned.

“The refusal to release the data when promised was a breach of trust, and the lack of communication surrounding the change was a failure of accountability and transparency,” the petition reads.

The petition goes on to list student demands, separated into categories “Investment in Change,” “Faculty, Staff, and Administration,” “Task Force & Student Engagement” and “Commitment from the Organizers.” Demands include hiring full-time trainers to work to expand OneWave, developing a mandatory curriculum for all students that addresses gender-based violence and explaining the decision to move the data release date to the Tulane community, among others.

The petition gives students the option to sign and add their own messages to administrators about sexual assault prevention efforts.

Tulane’s Undergraduate Student Government will host a Sexual Violence Prevention Town Hall at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 3, in Kendall Cram. The town hall will be led by Undergraduate Student Government President Sam Levin, with the goal of giving students a forum to express any questions and concerns they might have about sexual violence and prevention efforts on campus.

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