Changing Campus Culture

Bowling Green State University (BGSU) actively strives to change the campus culture to help create a better atmosphere for students to thrive. In our society many students enter college with preconceived notions surrounding Title IX, sexual harassment, and sexual violence. This is not just a problem that BGSU faces, but it is a national epidemic plaguing all institutions of higher education.

The Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) wants to create a shift among Ohio college campuses to end sexual violence. ODHE tasked BGSU to create a committee made up of students, staff, and faculty to continue to create positive change on our campus by embracing five cornerstone practices designed to work together and aimed at preventing and responding to sexual violence. This began in April 2016 with a Campus Climate survey created by the Ohio Domestic Violence Network for ODHE’s Changing Campus Culture Initiative. This survey was administered to students, faculty, staff, and administrators that measured the perceptions of safety and climate (experiences) at BGSU. The committee will use the results of the survey to work on implementing an action plan to create positive change here at BGSU.

  1. Use data to guide action. Specifically, campuses are asked to administer an annual campus climate survey to inform prevention and response strategies and to track trends over time.

  2. Empower staff, faculty, campus law enforcement and students to prevent and re­spond to sexual violence through evidence-based training. Using feedback from the campus climate survey and/or other data sources to help select the most appropriate pro­gram, campuses should implement a comprehensive training program for their institution. Programs focused on bystander intervention are particularly encouraged.

  3. Communicate a culture of shared respect and responsibility. Campuses should utilize a widespread awareness and communication campaign in conjunction with trainings and other initiatives to help encourage a safer culture.

  4. Develop a comprehensive response policy. Campuses are encouraged to engage a vari­ety of stakeholders in developing and adopting a comprehensive policy to address sexual violence on campus. This comprehensive policy will be both survivor-centered and respect the rights of the accused.

  5. Adopt a survivor-centered response. By developing a response centered on survivors’ needs, such as providing confidential advisors, campuses can strengthen student trust in campus systems and processes.

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