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Wednesday, September 27, 2023


Survey to assess women’s needs on campus

The UH Commission on Women has released a campus environment survey so students, faculty and staff will have the opportunity to express their feelings and concerns about campus safety and gender equality.

"This is a way of measuring the student voice, or faculty voice or staff voice and as many people take this survey – that’s how many voices we have," said Rebecca Szwarc, residential life and housing administrative assistant.

Szwarc said she hopes the survey results will help tell the commission what areas need to be targeted. She also stressed the importance of men taking the survey as well.

"We want both males and females to take this," Szwarc said.

"These issues concern everybody and we need input. If only one gender is giving us input on that, if there’s a disconnect between the way males and females feel about something, we need to know that."

Director of the Women’s Resource Center Beverly McPhail said the results of the survey would help document the needs of the students, faculty and staff at UH.

"If you don’t have the numbers, how do you prove your point?" she said.

McPhail said one of the major concerns female faculty and staff has pointed out has been the childcare facility, which in their opinion needs improvement.

"We are really lacking on child care. We have designated childcare spots for 150 people. The child care center is in a temporary building and it’s been in a temporary building for 30 years."

Many students at UH need more affordable childcare while they are in class, McPhail said.

McPhail said the survey is important because it could bring awareness to issues that otherwise wouldn’t normally be addressed.

Director of the Women’s Studies Program Elizabeth Gregory said UH has already taken a big step in the direction of gender equality by appointing a female as president.

Of the 15 colleges within the University, only one woman is a dean, according to a study released in October by the University Commission on Women.

Gregory said it would take time for more women to reach the upper ranks in the University system.

She said students should realize that voicing their opinions can lead to the creation of new facilities or programs.

An e-mail with a link to the survey was sent out to the UH listserv.

The Women’s Resource Center is also distributing hard copies of the survey, or interested parties can go to the Web site and select the link for "Campus Environment Survey 2007."

The results will be released by spring or summer, Szwarc said, although the Women’s Resource Center Web site contains a condensed report on the results.

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