Survey reveals harassment on campus

By Kelly Canright

Arizona Daily Wildcat

More than 40 percent of all women employees and over 10 percent of undergraduates of both genders report experiencing sexual harassment at the UA.

The most thorough research ever conducted on campus about sexual harassment was released yesterday by the University of Arizona Comission on the Status of Women.

Two separate surveys were conducted by the campus climate committee, one targeting UA employees and the other targeting undergraduates.

One area of the employee survey shows that men report experiencing sexual harassment from their peers or those subordinate to them, while women report that their perpetrators are of the same status or of a higher ranking, said commission chairJudy Mitchell.

"This says something about who is involved in sexual harassment and how it is different for each gender," she added.

"Our report reflects society and reflects social trends. We hope those trends are changing," said Anne Scott, the director for the Center for Research on Undergraduate Education.

The student survey was distributed voluntarily during the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Examination, which is given several times during the year, said Mitchell.

A cross section of 1,200 male and female students answered during the 1993-1994 school year.

The results of the employee survey, which was commissioned by the Arizona Board of Regents, show that approximately half of the employees believe that men and women are treated differently at the UA.

More than 40 percent of the female undergraduates reported that they have experienced gender discrimination.

"The employee survey was a random, stratified survey," Mitchell said. "The sample was representative to the type and proportion of people who work at the UA."

Of the 3,500 employee surveys distributed, 1,700 were returned, Mitchell said.

Research for both surveys' questions was conducted by Barbara Gutek, the management and policy department head, and Scott.

"We contacted a lot of other survey instruments and got research articles to help comprise our questions," Scott said.

"We went through the women's commission and piloted the survey on groups, and then we looked at the results and made revisions. All the surveys were piloted and reviewed," Scott said.

"The data is very consistent with what other studies have done. I think it was very thorough," said Connie Gajewski, coordinator of the Commission on the Status of Women.

Scott emphasized that the effort is three-pronged.

"First, the university must do this survey which is appropriate to do at a research institution. Secondly, the university is putting forth a revised sexual harassment policy. The Commission on the Status of Women contributed to the formation of that."

"Finally, we have recommended that there be employee awareness and education. Now, we must better define what that education will look like," Scott said.

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