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Marketing and Community Relations
2007 Evergreen Valley College Sexual Harassment Survey Upsets 2004 Results
Upsetting the disturbing results of the 2004 sexual harassment survey, the 2007 survey conducted by students at Evergreen Valley College revealed that the overwhelming majority of EVC students had not experienced harassment by a peer, instructor or administrator and 82% felt safe and comfortable on campus. In an era when sexual harassment is on the rise on college campuses, the results reflected the proactive efforts on the part of EVC administrators, faculty and staff to reverse this alarming trend.
As defined in EVC's College Catalog, sexual harassment constitutes “Unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors, and other unwelcome verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature."
Students from two separate courses joined forces to formulate the 10 survey questions, administer the survey and evaluate the results. The Elementary Statistics classes, taught by Professor Teck Ky and the Introduction to the Psychology of Women class, taught by Professor Marjorie Clark, sampled 1595 students; 53% of the respondents were women and 47% were men.
Findings included 9% of males and 19% of females had experienced unwanted advances by students; 12% of both genders had been exposed to demeaning images of women in the classroom. Corresponding to national norms, female respondents felt less safe and experienced more cases of harassment than males.
Professor Clark initiated the cooperative venture as part of EVC's Center for Service-Learning and Public Service, which actively engages students in their education, connecting classroom instruction with real-world community service. Clark says, "With over 70 community partners, EVC is one of only a handful of community colleges in the area with a robust Service-Learning offering." The Service-Learning program has taken students to Washington DC to march for Women’s Rights; to Oaxaca, Mexico to build a retaining wall for an indigenous family living in a draught area; to record WWII veteran’s stories for the to record stories for the Smithsonian, researched and planted urban trees in Santa Clara County to promote a greener, healthier environment, and provided tutoring for struggling math and learning disabled students. In this case, students studying sexual harassment teamed up with students studying statistics to develop a real-world survey project.
EVC students noted three areas of concern arising from the survey:
- One out of every 4 (1-4) students still do not feel that the campus treats men and women equally;
- Four out of ten (4-10) students do not know that EVC has a policy prohibiting sexual harassment;
- One out of every two students (50%) do not know where to report incidents of sexual harassment.
As part of their final report and presentation, the students recommended:
- Providing information about where to report cases in the EVC College Catalog;
- Improving campus security at night by increasing security patrols and the number of lights in the parking lots;
- Increasing awareness about EVC's sexual harassment policy through flyers, workshops and classroom reminders.
The Introduction to Psychology of Women course examines women's significant physical and psychological issues within an historical, familial, societal, and cultural framework of influences. The Psychology students developed the class presentation on sexual harassment, reminding the audience that:
- Victims and harassers can be men or women;
- The victim does not have to be the person harassed but could be anyone affected by the offensive conduct;
- Sexual harassment is not about sex, it is about power.
The Elementary Statistics course covers methods of describing data, common sample statistics, probability theory, random variables, common statistical distributions, point and interval estimation, hypothesis testing, and regression and correlation. Stat Students tabulated the survey results. They cautioned that not all of the students responded to every question.
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ABOUT Evergreen Valley College
With student learning as its primary focus, Evergreen Valley College’s mission is to empower students to expand their human potential and to succeed in a global, multicultural society. The College, which sits on a picturesque 175-acre site in the eastern foothills of San Jose, provides access to comprehensive and flexible post-secondary education to prepare students of all ages and backgrounds for balanced and productive lives and to improve the workforce and quality of life in our community.
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Director Marketing and Community Relations
Evergreen Valley College
3095 Yerba Buena Road
San Jose, CA 95135-1598