Hawaii News University of Hawaii students feel safer from harassment, survey says By Timothy Hurley firstname.lastname@example.org May 5, 2022 Mahalo for supporting Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Enjoy this free story! The results of a University of Hawaii survey indicate students across the 10-campus system feel safer overall from sexual harassment and gender-based violence. Read more Mahalo for reading the Honolulu Star-Advertiser! You're reading a premium story. Read the full story with our Print & Digital Subscription. Subscribe Now Read this story for free: Watch an ad or complete a survey Log In Already a subscriber? Log in now to continue reading this story. Activate Digital Account Print subscriber but without online access? Activate your Digital Account now. The results of a University of Hawaii survey indicate students across the 10-campus system feel safer overall from sexual harassment and gender-based violence. Less than 3% of students felt they were at personal risk of sexual assault or harassment — down from four years earlier, according to the survey, and the overall number of reported incidents of gender-based violence and harassment decreased since the previous survey across all categories. The results, released Wednesday, are found in the third biennial student campus climate survey on the prevalence of sexual harassment, domestic and dating violence, stalking, and nonconsensual sexual contact. About 17% of the UH system’s 40,122 adult students completed the survey — more students than ever despite the fact it was taken during the COVID-19 pandemic in the fall of 2020 and the first two months of the spring 2021 semester. The survey asked students about their experiences while enrolled at UH. With most courses online due to COVID-19, 4 out of 5 students reported less in-person contact. Jennifer Rose, director of the UH Office of Institutional Equity, said it’s hard to say what impact the pandemic had on the 2021 survey results, but she was nevertheless pleased so many students took the time to participate. “It’s an indication that students are engaged in this issue. They want to be heard. What they say can make a difference,” Rose said. In a letter to students, President David Lassner said UH is committed to ensuring safe and respectful campus environments free of sexual harassment and gender violence. “Although progress has been made, much more needs to be done and your increasing level of response to these Campus Climate Surveys serves as an invaluable contribution to helping make our campuses safer and free of discrimination,” he wrote. The findings of the 2021 survey include: >> Student risk for sexual assault while on campus held steady with almost 9 in 10 students (86%) indicating little to no perceived personal risk. This stood at 86% in 2019 and 85% in 2017. >> Students indicated greater awareness of campus resources that address sex discrimination, gender harassment, discrimination and misconduct. >> Most offenders were linked to UH, although there was a significant decrease in the number of student offenders. >> The majority of student bystanders took action in two of three gender violence scenarios: a little more than 76% of students said they intervened when they suspected a friend was sexually assaulted; almost 54% said they intervened when they witnessed a drunken person heading for a sexual encounter; and 42% said they intervened when witnessing sexually violent or harassing behavior. “Though these findings are very encouraging, especially the decrease in cases and greater awareness of student resources, we still have room for improvement and work to do to provide safer discrimination- free campuses,” Lassner said in a news release. Rose said the data from the 2021 survey will help UH campuses assess, update and improve policy and training initiatives for each campus. Regularly surveying students about sexual harassment and gender-based violence, she said, is considered a national best practice, and UH was among the first in the nation to survey an entire university system. The Hawaii- based OmniTrak Group Inc. conducted the survey. Previous Story Wave of bills that could become law sent to Gov. David Ige Next Story Kokua Line: Do I need a veteran ID card?