Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a campus survey?
Surveys are a common tool for learning about organizational culture and individual experiences.  In 2014, the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault recommended that campuses conduct regular surveys to understand a community’s perceptions relative to discrimination, harassment, sexual assault and relationship violence. Survey results are used to plan programs, design policies, inform prevention, create culture change and guide resource allocation.

Why is Michigan State University launching a campus survey?
The Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct Expert Advisory Workgroup was formed in the spring 2018 to develop recommendations to support MSU’s goal of creating a safe and supportive campus for all. To help form its recommendations, the workgroup met with students, staff and faculty and these groups repeatedly identified a need to conduct a survey to obtain more and richer data from across the entire campus community.

This confidential survey will be used to help inform and shape prevention programming, policy development and resource allocation decisions on campus. 

Who will be surveyed?
All MSU undergraduate students, graduate/professional students, faculty and staff will be invited to complete the survey. Participation in the survey will be completely voluntary.

Why should I participate in the survey?
Your contribution is critical to helping the university and greater campus community accurately understand the attitudes, experiences, and challenges of all MSU students, faculty and staff related to sexual misconduct. The more members of the MSU community complete the survey, the more confident we can be that we have a clear and complete picture. We want the survey to represent all students, faculty and staff, including those of all ages, genders, races and sexualities. We need everyone to participate no matter what experiences they have had.

Survey participation is completely voluntary and you can choose to skip any questions or stop the survey at any time. MSU will not know who did or did not participate in the survey.

How long is the survey?
On average, the student version of the survey takes 15 minutes to complete, while the faculty and staff version takes about 10 minutes.

Who is conducting the survey?
The campus climate survey is being coordinated by the Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct Expert Advisory Workgroup. MSU has contracted with an independent, non-profit research organization, RTI International, to administer the survey, process the data and report the results. This will ensure confidentiality and enhance trust, as the data will be reported to the MSU community by an objective, independent third-party source. The workgroup believes the use of an external expert research firm is the most effective way for students, faculty and staff to share their experiences and feel confident that their individual responses would not be shared with anyone at Michigan State.

The selected firm, RTI International, is an independent non-profit research organization with extensive experience designing and administering campus climate surveys.

How do I take the survey?
Survey invitations will be sent to all eligible participants in mid-March to your MSU email address. The survey invitation will be sent from The email contains information about how to access the survey, including the link to the survey itself and a unique survey access code that you need to enter to gain access to the survey. Survey reminder emails may contain an updated access code. Please be sure to reference your latest email for the most current code.

If you misplace your survey access code or have any difficulty accessing the survey, please email and the RTI help-desk will be happy to assist you.

How will I know my responses are confidential and not tied to me?
All information regarding this survey will be kept confidential according to legal and ethical guidelines. And because the workgroup has contracted with RTI International to administer the survey and conduct the analysis of the survey results, no one from Michigan State will see individual responses.

The final report will provide results by category (e.g., undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty) and only de-identified and aggregated data will be included in the technical report submitted to the university after the analysis is completed.

What will be done with the data once the survey is complete?
The data is crucial for continuing the positive transformation of the culture at MSU. It will take about four to six months to fully process and analyze the data and generate a final report. We anticipate the result will be available in Fall 2019 and will be posted to this website. The results will be used to help inform and shape prevention programming, policy development and resource allocation decisions on campus. 

Where do I get more information about the resources for relationship violence and sexual misconduct at MSU and in the community?

An extensive list of available resources is available. Information about possible violations of MSU’s Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct Policy should be reported to the Office of Institutional Equity and Michigan State University Police Department.

Confidential support can be access through the MSU Center for Survivors 24/7 Crisis Line (517) 372-6666 and MSU Safe Place at (517) 355-1100.  The State of Michigan 24/7 Sexual Assault Hotline can help you find other resources 1-855-VOICES4.

Who do I contact if I have problems accessing or completing the survey?
If you have any difficulty accessing the survey, please email and the RTI help-desk will be happy to assist you.