The University of New Mexico is in the process of collecting data for the 2018 College Climate Survey on Sexual Misconduct.

UNM has been conducting the survey annually since 2015 — it aims to help college campuses understand how many students are experiencing things like sexual harassment and gender discrimination, as well as how effective the school’s resources and reporting policies are, said Heather Cowan, UNM’s Title IX coordinator.

The survey is emailed to randomly selected undergraduate students between the ages of 18 and 24 who attend classes at UNM’s Main Campus, she said. Students who participate have the opportunity to win prizes, such as Amazon gift cards and Lobo merchandise.



This year’s survey opened on March 26 and will close on May 14. The results are expected to be available in Fall 2018, Cowan said.

Climate surveys are important for understanding the needs of UNM students, she said, adding that one of the of the main takeaways from past surveys is the need for bystander intervention training at UNM.

“One of the positive things we noted from our climate surveys at UNM is that a lot of our students really want to intervene when they see someone in danger or when they hear jokes that are derogatory or perpetuate rape culture, for example,” Cowan said.

UNM’s 2017 Campus Climate Survey was launched to a total of 7,234 undergraduate students, and scores were based off answers from 736 eligible participants that partially or completely answered the survey, according to the survey’s 2017 executive summary.

The results found that UNM students experienced low rates of sexual and dating violence for the 2016-2017 school year. However, the survey also found that 59 percent of students reported receiving no bystander training.

Thanks to this information, Cowan said UNM is now working to create a social norm marketing campaign focused on bystander intervention that will start next fall.

So far, the response rate for this year’s survey is at 10 percent. She said it is important for more students to participate in the survey, because it gives a better representation of UNM’s student population.

“Last year there was only a 10 percent response rate,” Cowan said. “What we would really like this year is a higher response rate, because with a lower response rate it is harder to extrapolate. The folks who answered are only semi-representative of more of the student body.”

Mikhaela Smith is a news reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at news@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @MikhaelaSmith18.