The UWindsor Campus Climate Survey measures changes in students’ experiences of sexual assault, attitudes toward their campus community, and perceptions of their role in creating change. The research was initiated in 2010 – the year before the start of the Bystander Initiative at the University of Windsor – and will conclude in 2020.
Participants are University of Windsor and St. Clair College students. In 2015, we added questions about students’ satisfaction with the support they received on campus when they tell someone about their experiences of sexual assault.
Until now, academic research has focused on the development of prevention interventions that change individual attitudes and behaviours. In theory, these programs can reduce the incidence of sexual assault on a campus by activating student-bystanders to speak out against social norms that support sexual assault and coercion and act to prevent sexual assaults before they happen.
To date, however, this connection has not been demonstrated in Canada, we think, because no institution has delivered prevention programming year after year, to the large number of students required to change campus culture.
The UWindsor model of workshop delivery allows us to test the effectiveness of prevention efforts campus-wide. Tipping point theory hypothesizes that a marked shift in attitudes or behaviours within an organization can be accomplished if as few as 10-15% of its members are influenced, then choose to become influencers of others.
Findings will be posted at the conclusion of the study.