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Home Comprehensive Campus Climate Research Proposal

Comprehensive Inclusive Campus Climate
Protocol to Understand Campus Sexual Violence

Developed by Chris Linder, PhD


Rates of campus sexual violence have not budged since the 1950s.

In addition,

        • perpetrators target students of color, queer and trans people and people with disabilities at higher rates than their peers, yet little research exists about minoritized students’ experiences with sexual violence
        • few climate studies examine rates or patterns of perpetration
        • most climate studies are de-contextualized (not specific to a particular campus)
        • quantitative data provides information about breadth, but not depth, of the problem

So, let's try something new...

proposed data collection

Phase 1 (pre-campus visit):

1) A comprehensive review of the socio-historical context in which the institution exists, including a critical review of historical documents describing the founding of the institution, as well as the relationships between the institution and communities in the surrounding area.

2) A comprehensive review of the current educational programs about relationship and sexual violence offered through university programs and services.

3) A comprehensive review of current university policies and practices used in responding to CSV after it happens.

Phase 2 (campus visit):

Based on the data collected in Phase 1, we will build a campus- specific protocol to engage more deeply with campus community members. Specifically, a research team will visit campus to engage in these additional forms of data collection:

4) Focus groups with various constituents of students based on shared identities or affinities (e.g., fraternity and sorority life, LGBT students, students of color, student athletes, etc.).

6) Interviews with key campus staff members about the enactment of educational programs and protocols in response to campus sexual violence.

5) Interviews with key campus staff members related to minoritized students’ experiences with CSV and campus climate.

7) A comprehensive review of the physical campus environment for messages related to CSV, including walking interviews with students and observations of passive and active programs related to CSV.

findings, report, and next steps

Members of the research team will write a report including findings from Phases 1 and 2 of data collection. The report will include a summary of findings, as well as recommendations for addressing issues uncovered in the data collection process. The lead researcher will return to the campus to engage with campus stakeholders around the findings of the study, including the recommendations for addressing the campus climate. The specific plan for disseminating the findings will be developed with administrators and educators on the campus, but will include, at a minimum the following:

1) Presentation to President’s Cabinet or equivalent;
2) Open presentation to members of the campus community;
3) Workshop with key administrators and educators directly related to addressing CSV (e.g., Title IX officers/investigators, campus police, prevention educators)

Additionally, members of the research team will remain in regular contact with administrators and educators on the campus to provide support for implementing the recommendations and engaging in regular campus climate studies.

personnel & budget

Dr. Chris Linder, assistant professor of Higher Education at the University of Utah, will serve as the lead researcher on this project. She will identify graduate students to work with her to collect and analyze data and write the final report with recommendations. Dr. Linder directed a campus-based women’s center with a primary focus on interpersonal violence for seven years prior to becoming faculty. Her research focuses on campus sexual violence through a power conscious lens. Dr. Linder’s scholarship on sexual violence includes the following:

  • Developed and coordinated the Critical-Interdisciplinary Summit on Campus Sexual Violence funded by the Spencer Foundation (2019)
  • Developed and introduced the Power-Conscious Framework to address sexual violence as an equity issue, rather than solely a health issue (Emerald Press, 2018)
  • Authored Sexual Violence on Campus: Power-Conscious Approaches to Awareness, Prevention, and Response (Emerald Press, 2018)
  • Co-Edited Intersections of Identity and Sexual Violence on Campus: Centering Minoritized Students’ Experiences (Stylus, 2017)


To learn more about this proposal, click HERE.