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  Cal Poly Research Center Launches Benchmark Survey on Student Health, Safety Issues

September 18, 2018

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — With Us — The National Network for Peer Accountability at Cal Poly has launched a new student benchmark survey today to help California public universities learn more about critical health and safety issues impacting students.

The National College Student Bystander Benchmark Survey partners with universities in the California State University (CSU) and University of California (UC) systems to gain a better understanding of student perceptions, experiences and bystander intervention actions around:

  • Sexual assault and intimate partner violence
  • Hate, bias, and discrimination
  • Hazing
  • Abuse of alcohol and drugs

Results of the first-year pilot study will establish baseline knowledge of college student bystander attitudes, motivations and behaviors to help develop future safety and wellness programming on public campuses across the state. In 2019, With Us intends to expand survey participation to universities nationally.

“This invaluable study will shine a critical light on ways we can make campuses safer for students,” said Keith Humphrey, Cal Poly’s vice president for student affairs. “This information will inform important decisions being made on behalf of students and help us assess the impact of our work.”

Participating UC and CSU institutions will receive a detailed report with campus-specific data that can be utilized to establish baselines for bystander behaviors and experiences, track year-by-year progress, and measure their campus against aggregate data collected from other participating institutions. All student responses are anonymized to ensure a high level of confidentiality.

“Every year, campus communities are faced with tragedies in which students die or experience serious emotional and physical harm,” said With Us Program Coordinator Michael Eberhard. “If we can empower students to speak up and take action during these moments, many of these tragic events can be prevented. This study is a part of our commitment to finding research-driven solutions that create cultures of peer accountability among college students.”

Partner universities will receive a turnkey participant package and individualized marketing and assessment support from With Us staff to ensure successful implementation. Universities interested in participating in the study can sign up through Nov. 1.

For more information about the student benchmark survey, visit

About With Us
Scott and Julia Starkey founded Aware Awake Alive in 2011 and donated the program to Cal Poly in 2017 to broaden its mission and allow it to evolve into a university-based research center. In turn, With Us - The National Network for Peer Accountability was launched in February 2018 as a bystander intervention research center with the mission to prevent harm and lives lost to hazing, alcohol and drug abuse, sexual assault, hate and bias, and other barriers to student health, safety and success. With Us is housed within Cal Poly Student Affairs and is led by a team of experienced researchers, prevention practitioners, and student affairs leaders. For more information, visit

About Cal Poly Student Affairs
Cal Poly Student Affairs supports student success through the Cal Poly experience by promoting Learn by Doing opportunities, delivering student-centered programs, encouraging personal growth, and empowering our students to live within a safe, healthy, inclusive and supportive environment. For more information, visit


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