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Vol Voices Research Survey

Vol Voices is our next step in UT’s ongoing commitment to creating and maintaining a safe and non-discriminatory learning, living, and working environment free from sexual harassment (including sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking), sexual exploitation, and retaliation.

The goal of the Vol Voices research survey is to assess the perceptions and experiences of our own students and employees. The information gathered will help to inform policy, shape prevention, and assist us with targeted interventions.

Vol Voices Survey FAQs

Vol Voices is an anonymous and confidential research survey that will assess campus perceptions and experiences of our own students and employees. The information gathered will help to inform policy, shape prevention, and assist us with targeted interventions. The survey is based on an instrument created by the Administrator Researcher Campus Climate Collaborative (ARC3). It was developed for US institutions of higher education by expert researchers in sexual harassment and interpersonal violence in collaboration with Title IX professionals, campus law enforcement, advocates, counselors, and student affairs personnel. The ARC3 is the recommended survey by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine Action Collaborative of which the University of Tennessee Knoxville is one of the founding members. Assessing campus perceptions and experiences in  the areas of Title IX is a best practice.   Sexual harassment and interpersonal violence have a direct and negative impact on our students, employees, and our mission of education and research.

All UTK and UTIA undergraduate, graduate and professional students, faculty and staff will be invited to complete the research survey.  Participation is voluntary, confidential, and completely anonymous.

We want every member of our community to have the opportunity to provide their experience and perceptions. The broadest possible participation will help make it possible to identify microclimates and include smaller populations.

There are two versions of the survey: one for students and one for faculty, and staff. The student survey will be open through May 10, and the faculty and staff research survey will be open through May 31.

In order to understand the campus perceptions and experiences of our students and employees, the research survey needs to ask direct questions about topics that may be very difficult for members of our community. Directly collecting this information will be helpful in preventing negative experiences and effectively responding when they do happen. Survey participation is voluntary, and we encourage everyone to consider their own wellbeing. You can choose to skip any questions or stop the survey at any time. Nobody will know who did or did not participate in the survey.

To get a complete picture, we need to hear from as many students and employees as possible. Your contribution is critical to helping the university and greater campus community accurately understand the campus perceptions and experiences of all students, faculty, and staff related to sexual misconduct. The more members of the campus community complete the survey, the more confident we can be that we have a clear and complete picture. We want the survey to represent everyone, so we need everyone to participate.

This research survey should take most people approximately 15 minutes to complete. It may take up to 20 minutes for some individuals depending on their responses.

The Vol Voices research survey was based on an instrument created by the Administrator Researcher Campus Climate Collaborative (ARC3). It was developed for US institutions of higher education by expert researchers in sexual harassment and interpersonal violence in collaboration with Title IX professionals, campus law enforcement, advocates, counselors, and student affairs personnel.

The ARC3 group established eight principles to guide survey development: inclusiveness, mutual respect, and collaboration; an iterative and transparent survey development process; research independence and integrity; use of the best scientific evidence in survey development; equal focus on victimization and perpetration; a civil rights approach grounded in Title IX; adherence to principles of the Belmont Report; and sensitivity to the unique issues faced by diverse populations and higher education institutional types.

The survey was reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB). We utilized an instrument created by the Administrator Researcher Campus Climate Collaborative (ARC3). It was developed for US institutions of higher education by expert researchers in sexual harassment and interpersonal violence in collaboration with Title IX professionals, campus law enforcement, advocates, counselors, and student affairs personnel. All survey participation is voluntary, and we encourage everyone to consider their own wellbeing. You can choose to skip any questions or stop the survey at any time. A complete list of resources and reporting options can be found at the end of the survey or at anytime on the Office of Title IX website. The survey is voluntary, confidential, and completely anonymous.

The Vol Voices research survey was based on an instrument created by the Administrator Researcher Campus Climate Collaborative (ARC3). It was developed for US institutions of higher education by expert researchers in sexual harassment and gender-based violence in collaboration with Title IX professionals, campus law enforcement, advocates, counselors, and student affairs personnel.

The survey was reviewed and feedback was received from members of the Title IX Prevention Team, College of  Social Work Office of Research and Public Service, and faculty, staff, graduate, and undergraduate student stakeholders.

The ARC3 group established eight principles to guide survey development: inclusiveness, mutual respect, and collaboration; an iterative and transparent survey development process; research independence and integrity; use of the best scientific evidence in survey development; equal focus on victimization and perpetration; a civil rights approach grounded in Title IX; adherence to principles of the Belmont Report; and sensitivity to the unique issues faced by diverse populations and higher education institutional types.

It will take the Social Work Office of Public Services (SWORPS) about four to six months to fully process and analyze the data and prepare reporting. Results are expected to be available in fall 2022. Key findings will be posted online and shared in campus-wide sessions hosted by the Office of Title IX.

SWORPS will administer the research survey, process the data, and report the results. The survey is completely anonymous -that means even SWORPS will not store names, email or IP addresses of survey participants.  No one at the Office of Title IX or other university administrative offices will be able to see individual responses.

Additionally, the Social Work Office of Public Services (SWORPS) will take multiple precautionary measures to protect confidentiality.  Group data will not be reported for groups of fewer than five individuals, because they may be small enough to compromise confidentiality. Instead, groups will be combined or other measures taken to eliminate identifiable demographic information. Identifiable information submitted in qualitative comments will be redacted and the university will only receive these redacted comments.

All research survey records will be destroyed by SWORPS after the study is over.

Students are eligible to win one of thirty VolCard gift cards. Each week five winners will be selected. The earlier a student completes the research survey, the higher the value of the gift card, and the more chances they will have to be selected. For example if a student enters the drawing during the week of April 1-7 and is not selected to receive a gift card they will be entered into drawings during subsequent weeks. Students do not have to complete the research survey to be eligible but they do need to enter a UTK email address to enter the drawing. The earlier they complete the survey, the higher the value of the gift cards:

April 1–7 $100

April 8–14 $75

April 15–21 $50

April 22–28 $25

April 29–May 5 $15

May 6–May 10 $10

Students will be notified via email if they have won a gift card by May 31, 2022.

UT last conducted a comprehensive campus climate survey of all students in spring 2017. The system-wide survey was conducted by Rankin & Associates Consulting. Results from the 2017 survey can be found here.

The student survey will be open through May 10, and the faculty and staff research survey will be open through May 31.

Email Markie Cook at mcook51@utk.edu, and the Social Work Office of Public Service (SWORPS) team will be happy to assist you.

Contact Ashley Blamey, Title IX Coordinator, at ashleyblamey@utk.edu or 865-974-9600.