Colleges and Universities are Improving Response to Campus Sexual Violence as a Result of New Program, Report Shows

September 10, 2020 Culture of Respect

Washington, D.C., (September 10, 2020) – Colleges and universities that participated in a new program are making big strides in preventing and responding to sexual violence on campus, according to a new report. The Collective is the signature program from Culture of Respect, a NASPA initiative, and the report is an evaluation of the program’s successful first two years. During this time period, participating institutions completed or made progress on 85% of objectives to strengthen sexual violence prevention and response, and 77% saw increased collaboration between departments and colleagues in identifying and implementing efforts to address violence.

“Campus sexual violence is a problem so large and complex, many colleges and universities don’t even know where to begin,” said Penny Rue, Vice President for Campus Life, Wake Forest University and a participant in the first Collective cohort. “The Collective guided us, step by step, in assessing where we could be doing more to prevent violence and to support our campus community. It provided us with a structured framework for our advocates and our administrators to come together and form trusting relationships, so we could do this important work together.”

Collective Cohorts 1 and 2 were composed of 68 diverse colleges and universities, including institutions of all sizes, and community colleges and religious institutions. Through a two-year process of robust self-assessment, cross-campus collaboration, and increased topical knowledge, participants effected individual- and institution-level change; among other changes, 92% of participants increased prevention programming frequency for undergraduates and nearly 50% increased the regularity with which they reviewed or revised their sexual misconduct policies.

“With myriad competing demands to contend with, higher education is ready for a program with demonstrated success in addressing sexual violence,” said Dr. Kevin Kruger, president of NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. “We know higher education is stretched like never before right now, but we can’t stop trying to create a safe campus environment. The Collective helps colleges and universities meet this call in a way that is strategic and results in meaningful, organization-wide change that helps create safer campuses and communities.”

The full report, available now, examines the experience and outcomes of Collective Cohorts 1 and 2, including the factors that facilitated and impeded institutions’ success in implementing the program. It also considers how the growing number of Collective institutions can impact higher education’s understanding of the problem, and how best to address it.

To learn more about the Culture of Respect Collective, visit

NASPA—Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education is the leading association for the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs profession. Its work provides high-quality professional development, advocacy, and research for 15,000 members in all 50 states, 25 countries, and 8 U.S. territories. Visit for more information.

Culture of Respect is NASPA’s signature initiative for supporting colleges and universities in ending sexual violence. Culture of Respect builds the capacity of educational institutions to end sexual violence through ongoing, expansive organizational change. Their signature program, the Collective, brings together institutions of higher education who are dedicated to ending campus sexual violence and guides them through a rigorous process of self-assessment and targeted organizational change.


Allison Tombros Korman, Senior Director, Culture of Respect
[email protected]