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UND survey shows students feel safe on campus

GRAND FORKS—A campus survey at the University of North Dakota shows that students feel safe while on campus and that they believe school leaders are "visibly committed" to fostering respect for diversity at the school.

The survey was sent out to more than 12,800 degree-seeking students at the university during the spring semester and around 26 percent of students participated in the anonymous survey.

The same survey was also done at 41 other universities, with an average response rate of 17 percent.

Sara Kaiser, assistant director of the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, said that the university was deliberate in when it conducted the survey in order to gather the highest possible response rate.

Donna Smith, director of equal employment opportunity and affirmative action and the Title IX coordinator, said there is always room for improvement at the university. She said its goal was to find out what mattered to UND students and what they are experiencing, so the university can focus on students' needs.

The numbers are a "baseline" for continued growth, the group said, and they want to continue to find out ways to be better in all aspects. It is not known whether this survey will continue on a yearly basis.


According to the survey, 97 percent of respondents reported that they felt safe at UND, which is higher than the national average of 93 percent.

Cara Halgren, vice president for student affairs and diversity, said many people recognize UND as a campus that feels safer than others around the region.

Students were also asked about their perceptions of faculty and administrators, 85 percent of UND students felt that faculty were genuinely concerned about their welfare, while 68 percent felt the same about administrators.

Less than 20 percent of respondents said they had seriously considered leaving their school since the beginning of the current school year, another number that is higher than the national average of 22 percent.

Around 83 percent of respondents said they felt school leaders were "visibly committed to fostering respect for diversity at UND." But, 76 percent said they felt all students were welcomed and supported at the school, regardless of their background.

Sexual violence

Students were also asked about their experience with sexual violence and sexual violence training on campus. About 55 percent of respondents said they received prevention information or training about sexual violence since the beginning of the school year. Six percent reported that they had experienced at least one incident of sexual violence since the beginning of the school year.

Around 78 percent of respondents at UND said they knew where to go if they or a friend had experienced sexual violence. Additionally, 81 percent stated they believed the school would take a report to a campus authority seriously.

Prior to college, around 17 percent of students said someone had attempted to have unwanted sexual contact with them, with 24 percent of female respondents saying they had experienced unwanted contact and 4 percent of male respondents saying the had.

Sydney Mook

Sydney Mook has been covering higher education at the Grand Forks Herald since May 2018. She previously served as the multimedia editor and cops, courts and health reporter at the Dickinson Press from January 2016 to May 2018.  She graduated from the University of South Dakota with a bachelor's degree in journalism and political science in three and half years in December 2015. While at the USD, she worked for the campus newspaper, The Volante, as well as the television news show, Coyote News. She also interned at South Dakota Public Broadcasting and spent the summer before her senior year interning in Fort Knox for the ROTC Cadet Summer Training program. In her spare time, Sydney enjoys cheering on the New York Yankees and the Kentucky Wildcats, as well as playing golf. If you've got an idea for a video be sure to give her a call!

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