Rice University

The Survey on Unwanted Sexual Experiences

To better understand sexual and relationship violence on our campus, Rice is conducting a climate survey, the first part of which was administered during Spring 2015 and focused on unwanted sexual experiences.

Read the letter from the President and Provost here.

View the Survey on Unwanted Sexual Experiences here.

View the final report from NORC on the Survey on Unwanted Sexual Experiences here.

Frequently Asked Questions



  • I have not been directly affected by these issues – why should I take this survey?
    • Sexual misconduct on our campus affects everyone in our community. Each of us contributes to ensure that all members of the University community can study, work and live in an environment free of harassment. Your participation in this survey is essential to the University's overall strategy for addressing unlawful discrimination and sexual misconduct.
  • Why is the University conducting this survey?
    • A sustained national dialogue regarding higher education's handling of sexual misconduct as well as incidents on campus have made clear that the University needs to better understand students' experiences. The University has three main goals in asking students to complete this survey:

      • First, like other universities, we need a better understanding of the frequency and nature of sexual misconduct at Rice.
      • Administering this survey reinforces the University's commitment to fostering a safe environment free from sexual misconduct.
      • Responses to this survey will be essential to our efforts to improve sexual misconduct prevention, education and awareness programs, and for providing the best resources to victims.

      The University will share aggregated data from this survey with the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights. By sharing these data, we will contribute to a better national understanding of this problem and to development of best practices and standards.

  • What about confidentiality -- will my name or ID number be associated with my responses?
    • No, all survey responses will be confidential. Your name or identifying information will not be associated with your responses to this survey. Rice's Office of Institutional Effectiveness (OIE) is responsible for administering the survey.

      • Students completing the Spring Survey of All Students (SAS) will be directed to this survey which is a completely separate survey. They will NOT receive a separate email.
      • Students who are not administered the Survey of All Students will receive an individual email with an invitation url that only permits them to log into the survey.
      • Once the survey is submitted, the data will be stored without individual student identifiers. All information is confidential and your name or identifying information will not be associated with your responses.
      • The results from this survey will not be stored with any other survey including the Survey of All Students (SAS)
      • Only aggregated data will be included in reports of survey results, so it will not be possible to identify a student's individual response from these reports.
  • Is taking this survey required?
    • Whether you choose to take the survey or decline to participate will in no way affect your standing at the University. Students may receive reminders after the initial invitation goes out to ensure a high response rate; achieving the highest possible response rate is the key to reliability. No student is under any obligation to participate; however, we encourage everyone to complete the survey so we have the most reliable and valid information possible.
  • Who created this survey?
    • Survey questions were developed using scholarly resources, a survey created last year by MIT, and models provided by NotAlone.gov.  Modifications and campus-specific items have been added by a Rice faculty committee with input from select students. The final survey (and this FAQ) reflects collaboration with experts at Stanford and the University of Chicago, who are also administering a similar survey to their students this spring.
  • What input did students have in the survey?
    • Survey questions were shared with select students, who provided useful comments and feedback that informed the survey itself and the communication strategy to maximize student participation. In addition, students at MIT, Stanford and the University of Chicago also gave input. 
  • How long does the survey take?
    • On average, the survey will take less than 5 minutes to complete. The survey will be open for approximately three weeks. Also, if at any point while taking the survey you feel uncomfortable or don't want to continue, you can exit. Only your responses to answered questions will be recorded.
  • What will the University do with the results?
    • Survey responses will be analyzed by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) on behalf of the University. The first of a series of summary reports will be released to the University community during June or July 2015. These reports and the de-identified individual responses will allow the University to address a wide variety of questions in the months ahead. Additionally, the University will consult faculty experts and students on any additional analyses prompted by the survey results. Faculty and student focus groups will also be consulted on development of a more extensive survey of campus climate in the fall of 2015.


These questions and answers were developed from a draft FAQ composed by the University of Chicago and, therefore, employs much of the same language as that draft.

If you have questions or feedback, please email the Office of Institutional Effectiveness. If you need support, please click here to contact one of support offices available on campus or click here learn more information about support available for survivors on campus.