UK officials release CATS safety survey results

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) -- University of Kentucky officials have released a summary of the 2016 Campus Attitudes Toward Safety (CATS) survey which assess student perceptions and experiences regarding violence and/or harassment while attending UK.

“This is important work for the University of Kentucky, and our campus has been a leader on this issue for more than 10 years. We’re home to the Green Dot Program, we initiated our first climate survey several years ago, and now we’ve conducted the second year of the campuswide CATS climate survey,” said UK President Eli Capilouto.

“We entered into this task of data collection and analysis with the goal of listening to our students and acting on their feedback about the things we do well and where we have work to do," said Capiluto. "This is an intentional, constant improvement process, and we’ve made progress since the first survey, but our second year of data collection indicate that there is more work we must do in creating a safe and supportive environment for reporting, raising awareness about sexual assault, and providing support for victim survivors.”

The first CATS survey in the spring of 2015 revealed that more than 90 percent of UK students believe the UK campus is safe, but that too many remain reluctant to report sexual assaults.

The 2016 survey produced similar results, with nearly 98 percent of students reporting feeling safe on campus during the day, and over 88 percent reporting they feel campus authorities are fair in their responses to reports of sexual assault. However, it’s clear that use of alcohol and other substances remain a factor in cases of sexual assault as 19 percent reported witnessing events where they suspected a person under the influence was being led away for sex.

UK continues to use data from both surveys, which is among the most in-depth regarding safety in American higher education, to address student safety issues.

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