Update on campus climate survey regarding sexual misconduct

NOTE: This page contains two messages that were sent on this topic. The first message is to students.

This message is sent on behalf of President Susan R. Wente and Vice President for Campus Life Shea Kidd Brown.


The following message pertains to University efforts around sexual misconduct. We acknowledge that Wake Forest is the home and workplace of survivors. Please engage with this information with care for yourself and reach out to University resources like the Safe Office or University Counseling Center if you need support. 

Dear Wake Forest students: 

We write with an update on the University’s first campus climate survey focused solely on sexual misconduct and related issues, as well as the University’s other efforts surrounding the campus climate during the past year. 

In response to concerns about sexual misconduct on campus, last fall President Wente charged University leaders to create opportunities to listen to your lived experiences on campus and to develop strategies and resources to further support our campus community. The University also committed to conducting the campus climate survey to gain critical insights into what you shared. This work included a review of the University’s training, outreach, policies, procedures, and support services with respect to sexual misconduct.

It is important to acknowledge that even before last fall, your voices, representing diverse perspectives, made it clear that we have work to do together on the overall campus climate. Thank you for your courage in voicing your ongoing concerns and for challenging our community to take further action.

In partnership with students, we have continued making improvements related to sexual misconduct through the following efforts: 

  • Created the Sexual Assault Prevention, Support, Accountability (SAPSA) Taskforce 
  • Partnered with the Student Government to develop strategies to improve the campus climate
  • Refined bystander intervention and prevention initiatives
  • Implemented “Start with Safe” branding for the Safe Office
  • Enhanced the (online) training for incoming students 
  • Funded and hired an Interpersonal Violence Prevention Coordinator 
  • Engaged NORC at the University of Chicago to design and coordinate the climate survey process

As this work progressed, the University, in collaboration with Student Government, invited 7,357 undergraduate and graduate students to participate in the survey during the spring 2022 semester. Thanks to your participation, we surveyed 2,713 students in total, resulting in a 38% response rate.  

NORC has analyzed the data and provided both a summary of the findings and recommendations for how we can continue improving our campus climate. We will use the findings and recommendations to guide our ongoing work.

We imagine you are eager to learn the outcomes of the survey, and we are eager to share them with you. Our results resemble the findings of similar studies within higher education, and while our climate is not an outlier compared to other campuses, we want to emphasize that one experience of sexual misconduct is one too many. 

In order to effectively understand, interpret, and act upon the findings for our university, we invite each of you to participate in a facilitated forum on Monday, November 14 where we will share the results, review current prevention initiatives, and discuss possible future strategies to implement. After the forum, we will host follow-up sessions with student organizations, post the summary report, and with students, continue to formulate concrete actions aimed at further improving our campus climate. 

Finally, sexual misconduct has pervasive, harmful effects on individuals and communities. We stand in solidarity with all who have experienced sexual misconduct in any form and remain committed to working together so that all students can learn, experience a sense of belonging, and thrive at Wake Forest. 

Thank you for participating in the survey, engaging with us as we learn from its findings, and committing to caring for all members of our campus community. 


Susan R. Wente 

Shea Kidd Brown 
Vice President for Campus Life 

NOTE: The following message was sent to faculty and staff and references the message above.

Dear Wake Forest faculty and staff,

A short time ago, we shared an update with students on our first campus climate survey designed to help us understand the prevalence of sexual misconduct on campus, as well as the effectiveness of the university’s training, outreach, policies, procedures and support services that touch upon this area. We share a copy of that message with you below. 

Sexual misconduct is a serious matter that deeply impacts the health and wellbeing of students and our community as a whole. Wake Forest offers a range of prevention education and training for incoming and continuing students and our community is actively involved in efforts to address sexual misconduct on campus. 

In addition to planning a series of discussions with students about the survey findings, we invite you to participate in a facilitated forum specifically for faculty and staff where we will share the results, review current prevention initiatives, and determine future strategies to implement.

You are invited to attend one of the following:

Nov. 15, 2022
12-1:30 p.m. 
Location: Benson 401C/D
Note: Lunch included 

Nov. 18, 2022
1-2:30 p.m.
Location: Benson 401A/D
Note: Light refreshments included 

We are committed to doing everything possible to foster a campus environment where all students, staff, and faculty can thrive. All of us can play a role in improving our campus climate. Our message to students is included below. Thank you for your support in these efforts.


Susan R. Wente 

Shea Kidd Brown 
Vice President for Campus Life

Categories: Emails