Editorial: Student participation in climate survey is imperative

The survey needs a 30% response rate to be applicable


Katie Fox

A protest on Aug. 28, 2021 led to increased conversations around sexual violence on campus.

Last October, the 2021 Old Gold & Black editorial board echoed Student Government’s call for a campus-wide survey to assess the prevalence of interpersonal violence on Wake Forest’s campus. 

Five months later, through the efforts of student leaders and senior university administration, a campus climate survey has become a reality.

The survey was released this Monday and will run through March 31. A 30% response rate is needed to make the survey valid — meaning its findings would be applicable to the student body and the campus at-large. 

The Old Gold & Black is committed to spreading the necessary information about this survey so that all students have the opportunity to share their experiences and exercise their voice on campus.

As this editorial board and past editorial boards have noted in several editorials, more information about what is going on at Wake Forest — the good, the bad and the ugly — is never a disadvantage. Information about sexual misconduct on this campus will help inform decisions that could contribute heavily to the eradication of interpersonal violence on this campus.

Thus, the Old Gold & Black implores the student body to take this survey. 

Even if a person has not experienced sexual violence on this campus, the “no” answers to questions on the survey will help with contextualization. According to the Student Government, all information and answers provided in the survey will not be attached to any student’s name, so confidentiality is not a concern. 

Further, we encourage members of the Wake Forest community to be especially gentle and understanding throughout this period, as those personally affected by sexual violence may face reminders of deeply painful experiences. 

We also encourage survivors who decide to take the survey to take breaks and give themselves grace throughout this process. 

Finally, we would like to reiterate the offer made in our October 2021 editorial of the full resources and platform of the Old Gold & Black in supporting this work. We look forward to working with student leaders and administration to ensure that this important work is completed and that all resources significant to this issue are effectively communicated to the student body.