Tulane seeks student input for sexual misconduct survey

Rohan Goswami, News Editor

A photograph of a sign in Tulane University's Joseph Merrick Jones Hall, which houses the Title IX office.
Tulane University’s Joseph Merrick Jones Hall, where the Title IX office shares a third floor suite. (Rohan Goswami)

Tulane University’s campus-wide Sexual Misconduct Climate Survey began on Jan. 28, as part of an effort by the university to grapple with and understand the prevalence of sexual misconduct on campus and in the student body.

Tulane’s Title IX Compliance office is leading the survey, which will be the second of its kind in Tulane history. The survey will close on Feb. 20, running for a little over three weeks.

“I hope that it gives some folks a place to feel like they’re heard,” Julia Broussard, interim assistant provost for Title IX, said.

“A survey might not feel like it has the same power as getting up at an event and sharing that kind of personal narrative,” Broussard said. “But I do think this is a really powerful way for someone who’s experienced sexual misconduct to be heard.” 

Survey responses will be completely anonymous, according to the university

The survey itself was developed by the Administrator Researcher Campus Climate Collaborative and aligns with models used by “over 300 colleges and universities” across the United States.

Broussard said the data will be valuable to the university in mapping change since the first survey.

“I want to be realistic. In talking with experts, they’re saying, ‘You know, even if you have been doing a lot of work on your campus, don’t expect that you’re going to see a huge drop in your victimization rates, or even you may see no drop or even a bit of an increase,” Broussard said.

Tulane’s 2017 climate survey revealed startling and prevalent sexual misconduct on campus, with LGBTQ+ and minority populations particularly vulnerable to sexual misconduct.

Forty-seven percent of Tulane students completed the survey. 

The results of the survey resulted in national coverage and prompted Tulane’s All In campaign, a concerted university-wide effort to combat sexual assault in the Tulane community.

The All In campaign was helmed by the Title IX office. According to Broussard, results from this second survey are not expected to be available until spring 2023. 

“This time around, we’re trying to be more realistic with the timeline and hopefully still build trust and not do anything where we’re having to deviate from the expectations we’re setting,” Broussard said.

Despite attempts at reform, 2021 news coverage of sexual misconduct allegations came alongside significant protests by the student body over perceived continuing failures by the university to address and punish perpetrators of sexual misconduct.

In a message to students, Broussard wrote that the survey is a “top priority for the university.”

According to the Climate Survey website administrators hope to exceed the 2017 survey’s 47% response rate.

Title IX is the federal law prohibiting sex-based discrimination at educational institutions that receive federal funding. Tulane University received over $213 million in federal funds in 2019.