University seeks student input on campus climate results


Devyn Leeson/Iowa State Daily

President Wendy Wintersteen begins the discussion over the findings in the 2017 Campus Climate survey.

Emily Berch

The campus climate survey results highlighted problems with race-based harassment and procedures for reporting sexual assault when results were released in May 2018. Now the university is seeking input.

The Campus Climate Undergraduate Student Experience Committee, in partnership with Student Government, will host an open forum on the campus climate survey results from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday in Carver Hall 0205.

Senior Vice President for Student Affairs and Undergraduate Student Experience Committee Chair Martino Harmon will lead the panel discussion portion of the forum, along with co-chairs Dean of Students Vernon Hurte and Associate Provost for Academic Programs Ann Marie VanDerZanden.

Harmon said the first portion of the forum will focus on what the workgroup has done over the fall semester and how different focus groups have informed its work before presenting themes discovered in the survey and recommendations for the university based on those themes.

Harmon said some recommendations will be new ideas, some will be initiatives that are “in the works” and other recommendations will fit in with what other work groups, such as the faculty work group, are doing.

After they present, the committee will accept feedback and questions before reconvening to develop final recommendations to be sent to President Wendy Wintersteen.

The undergraduate committee initially planned its forum for October, but decided conducting focus groups throughout the fall semester would better inform the discussion at an open forum.

“We decided rather than have a town hall and not present anything tangible other than the issues, we thought it would be better to have a town hall or forum after we had really developed the issues,” Harmon said. “The focus groups are just one process toward that.”

Some of the organizations the workgroup partnered with or intended to partner with include the Margaret Sloss Women’s Center and the Center for LGBTQIA+ Student Success, according to the campus climate website.

The campus climate survey was conducted throughout the 2017-18 school year and the results were released in May 2018. The survey was conducted “to identify the strengths and challenges of campus climate, with a specific focus on the distribution of power and privilege among differing social groups,” according to the final survey results report.

Comprehensive coverage of the survey results at the time they were released can be found at the Daily’s website.