UNIVERSITY OF AZUAY WELLBEING SURVEY 2019
ENCUESTA DE BIENESTAR DE LA UNIVERSIDAD DEL AZUAY 2019
Anne Carr
1
Matías Abad Merchán
2
Narcisa Ullauri
3
Universidad del Azuay (Ecuador). Correo electrónico: acarr@uazuay.edu.ec.
Universidad del Azuay (Ecuador). Correo electrónico: matabad@uazuay.edu.ec.
Universidad del Azuay (Ecuador). Correo electrónico: nullauri@uazuay.edu.ec.
Abstract
To embed health into all aspects of campus culture is one of the Calls to Action in the 2015 International Okanagan
Charter. e Ministry for Higher Education in Ecuador mandates that an institution maintain a welfare administrative
unit to promote the rights of the members of the academic community. Cooperation and communication are central to
maintain a campus model of security and wellbeing. is research collected quantitative and qualitative policy-relevant
data from students, teachers, and administration representatives to guide institutional change. Recommendations and a
suggested plan for action based on the principle nding for increased transparency and directionality of accountability
is made.
Key Words
Campus security, cooperation, accountability, wellbeing.
Resumen
Integrar la salud en todos los aspectos de la cultura del campus es una de las llamadas a la acción en la Carta Internacional
de Okanagan de 2015. El Ministerio de Educación Superior de Ecuador exige que una institución mantenga una unidad
administrativa de bienestar destinada a promover los derechos de los miembros de la comunidad académica. La
cooperación y la comunicación son fundamentales para mantener un modelo de seguridad y bienestar en el campus. Para
guiar el cambio institucional, esta investigación recopiló datos relevantes cuantitativos como cualitativos de estudiantes,
maestros y representantes de la administración. Las recomendaciones para un plan de acción de cuatro años se basan en
el hallazgo principal de una mayor transparencia y direccionalidad de la rendición de cuentas.
Palabras clave
Seguridad en el campus, cooperación, accountability, bienestar.
UNIVERSIDAD NACIONAL DE CHIMBORAZO
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Vol. 4 (2021), No. 6, Primer Semestre (Enero - Junio), (37-51)
ISSN No. 2631-2743
DOI: https://doi.org/10.37135/kai.03.06.03
Recibido 30 de enero 2020; Aceptado 13 de junio de 2020
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Introduction
e word university is derived from the Latin Universitas magistrorum et scholarium, which means community of
teachers and scholars. It is an institution of higher education and research that awards academic degrees in various
academic disciplines. In the global knowledge economy higher education is understood as vital to national economic
growth and global competition through the preparation of graduates, and the production of research, invention and
innovations (Atlbach 2004).
However, various factors including “mission, student population, faculty prole, geographic location, funding sources,
level of resources and orientation to local, national and international interests” (Knight 2004, 25) inuence why and how
a university contextualizes its role.
Stein (2016) suggests that the Latin American model of the university is dierent from both the Napoleonic enlightenment
based elitist professional education and the Humboldtian focused on personal development and academic freedom.
Rather the university in the Ecuadorian context and in particular southern Azuay, is inserted into the local community
or communities emphasizing collective reection on the social reality that serves as guidance for the academic (adapted
from Morosin in Brackman 2010, 24).
Drawing on Haraway’s work on situated knowledges (1988), Puig de la Casa (2016) uses the notion of “thinking with
care” to argue how thinking and knowing both necessarily require care in the way they are always already relational
processes in a thickly interdependent world. She argues for care and ethics as an analytic, as enacting a speculative, that
is, open ended non-predetermined mode of thinking. inking with care means asking ourselves, as an institution, if we
incorporate only one kind of epistemology when we talk about wellbeing in quantitative terms such as the number of
female students sexually assaulted (2.53%) on campus or the number of bias motivated violence (12.1%) or the number
of physically harassed and stalked female students (20.3%) (University of West Virginia oce of strategic planning
survey 2016). Quantitative data without accompanying qualitative data can be based in a particular historical, political,
socio-economic and cultural circumstances that strongly determine a persistence of a gender supremacy imaginary. For
example, according to ocial Ecuadorian gures, six out of ten women are victims of some kind of violence. Additionally,
survey results from a reference group of 3000 Ecuadorian university students found a lack of awareness on the part of
men as well as a certain tolerance towards gender violence (Ibanez 2017).
In response to campus gender violence, some universities have taken broad equality and social justice perspective by
developing “campus toolkits” to demonstrate a culture of respect by focusing on male students’ attitudes (VAWnet 2020)
or a mobile app to help students of any gender identify and navigate a range of abuse concerns (Johns Hopkins My Plan
2020).
Internationally, there is a growing body of evidence concerned with the need to address the mental and emotional
health and the physical wellbeing of university students (Orygen, 2017). Healthy students are better placed to have a
successful student experience while at University (Holt & Powell, 2017; Baik et al., 2016). In June 2015, participants
from 45 countries, representing both educational institutions and health organizations, including the World Health
Organization and UNESCO, collaborated on the Okanagan Charter's development: An International Charter for Health
Promoting Universities and Colleges.
e Okanagan Charter provides institutions with a common language, principles, and framework to become a “health
and wellbeing promoting campus” and outlines two Calls to Action:
To embed health into all aspects of campus culture, across the administration, operations, and academic mandates;
To lead health promotion action and collaboration locally and globally
One response to the Okanagan Call to Action: in March 2020, e Womens Health, Gender, and Empowerment Center
of Expertise, which is part of the University of California Global Health Institute, sought proposals from global university
partners to research to strengthen their campus’ prevention and response to sexual assault, harassment, stalking, dating
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violence and other forms of gender-based violence.
Ecuador
Article 68 of the Higher Education Law in Ecuador (Ley Orgánica de Educación Superior), in what pertains to wellbeing,
mandates that Higher Education institutions maintain a welfare administrative unit to promote the rights of the members
of the academic community. is department should develop vocational and professional guidance processes and obtain
credits, incentives, nancial aid, and scholarships. It will oer assistance services that are determined in the regulations
of each institution. It will also allocate sta and resources to strengthen this Unit. Among its attributions are:
1. Promoting an environment of respect for the rights and physical, psychological, and sexual integrity of the entire
university community;
2. Promoting an environment free of all forms of harassment and violence;
3. Assisting to those who report violations of these rights;
4. Formulating and implementing policies, programs, and projects to prevent and oer immediate care for victims
of sexual violence. e student welfare unit, through the legal representative of the higher education institution,
will present or initiate the administrative and judicial actions to report any acts of violence that have come to its
knowledge;
5. Implementing programs and projects to inform, prevent, and to control the use of drugs, alcoholic beverages,
cigarettes, and tobacco products;
6. Coordinating actions with the competent agencies for the treatment and rehabilitation of addictions within the
framework of the national drug plan;
7. Generating projects and programs to meet the special educational needs of the population that requires it, as is the
case of people with disabilities;
8. Generating projects and programs to promote the integration of historically excluded and discriminated population;
9. Promoting intercultural coexistence;
10. Implementing child care and welfare spaces for the daughters and sons of the institutions students.
Objectives of this research
In the emergent knowledge society, higher education institutions are positioned to generate, share, and implement
knowledge and research ndings to enhance citizens' and communities' health and wellbeing both now and in the future.
is research's primary objective was to provide policy-relevant data on the extent and distribution of various types of
victimization that students, faculty, and sta experience on the University of Azuay campus.
As a way to enter the discourse of wellbeing at UDA and obtain an internal baseline measurement, in January 2019,
a campus wellbeing survey was designed to identify information on perceptions concerning the campus’ social and
cultural climate, responsibility to self-protect and assist others (bystanders). ese are bottom-up social accountability
concepts that are not externally enforceable but rather at the will of the individual campus members based on their
degree of intrinsic motivation.
Additional Survey questions sought perceptions of how UDA would handle a situation in which a student reported
sexual misconduct and their knowledge of types of support services that exist. ese are externally mandated concepts
for which campus members are held accountable. ese are top-down social accountability administration driven, for
example, university policy on reporting physical or sexual abuse.
A secondary objective was to highlight the distinction between education and prevention. While existing education –
print posters, webpage administration statements, and online text – may increase awareness and provide the campus
community with information about campus policies, procedures, reporting options, and campus resources, it is not
sucient as a stand-alone strategy for reducing violence in particular. Prevention aims to stop the violence before it
occurs and reduce the number of incidents on (or o-campus). In addition to the survey, an intervention module to
practice specic skills for personal safety, as well as bystander assistance skills in violent incidents, was piloted with a
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convenience sample focus group of students.
Not a component of this research, but an important consideration is how much importance families put on the open
discussion of campus safety and what types of programs are oered to students to prevent crime and assist when an
incident occurs.
Characteristics of UDA
e University of Azuay is a private, non-prot institution, co-nanced by the Ecuadorian government. It has around
600 teachers and more than 6,000 students.
e University of Azuay began in 1968 and is based in the city of Cuenca, the capital of the province of Azuay. In its
beginnings, it was part, rst, of the Catholic University Santiago de Guayaquil and, later, of the Pontical Catholic
University of Ecuador. In 1990, aer complying with all legal requirements, it was recognized as the University of Azuay
through the Law of the Republic.
e University of Azuay oers undergraduate training through its twenty-eight schools distributed in six faculties.
Participants
Students, faculty, administration, and sta, including janitorial and security, anonymously and voluntarily completed
the online survey during February 2019. Only students were invited online and through social media to participate in a
photographic competition during March 2019.
Justication for study
e 2014 Gallup-Purdue Index report, a representative study of 70,000 college graduates in the U.S., found signicant
evidence to support how six key undergraduate experiences prime graduates to succeed in their work and lives aer
college. ose experiences include:
1. I had at least one professor at [college] who made me excited about learning.
2. My professor(s) at [college] cared about me as a person.
3. I had a mentor who encouraged me to pursue my goals and dreams.
4. I worked on a project that took a semester or more to complete.
5. I had an internship or job that allowed me to apply what I was learning in the classroom.
6. I was extremely active in extracurricular activities and organizations while I attended [college].
Gallup's research has shown that these college experiences are related to graduates' long-term well-being, encompassing
more than just physical health. It measures how individuals feel about and experience their daily lives across ve elements:
purpose, social, nancial, community, and physical health. Overall, the top driver of student well-being is the degree to
which a student agrees "they have the opportunity to do what they do best every day" -- one of the key survey questions
used to measure student engagement. e second driver was campus safety and security.
No research had previously been undertaken on campus safety and security at the University of Azuay. Coupled with
undisclosed rumors of sexual harassment and stalking on campus, the Survey was designed in part as a social justice
response to collect policy-relevant data on some types of campus violence and understanding of current institutional
responses to wellbeing. e signicance of rumors is of psychological, sociological, educational, and economic interest
because rumors are information statements in circulation that are unveried. Additionally, rumors are “instrumentally
relevant” in that they answer questions that students (and others on campus) want to be answered that they feel are
important or signicant and because they serve to help understand an ambiguous situation. (Appendix A)
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Photographic competition
Although quantitative measures such as surveys are paramount in collecting numeric data for large groups, important
qualitative data can be collected through visual media, such as photos. Images can prompt a dierent kind of reection
on lived experiences. As images are able to prompt emotions and thoughts about experiences in ways that narrative alone
cannot. is reection may begin with the making of an image: “why is it that I made that photograph, at that moment?”
(Liebenberg 2009).
Such critical reection can lead to a discussion with others, especially to reach and inform policymakers to bring about
change (Harper 1988; Liebenberg et al. 2014). Smith (1987) asserts that it is those who have a voice and participate
in decision making that holds power; Wang and Burris argue that "policy is the articulation of voice through the
concrete distribution of resources. Whose voices participate in the policy dialogue determines which actions are chosen"
(1994:182). For example, Mitchell (2015) demonstrated how participatory visual methods could inuence social change
and make a signicant contribution to policy dialogue.
e collection of both qualitative and quantitative data from community members – students, faculty, and administration
– with a view to rethinking approaches to relationality demonstrates in the process that solidarity, participation, and
reciprocal partnerships are equally valued. e photographic competition's purpose was to gather reective products
of visually documented social, emotional health, and physical wellbeing. Since both the collection of quantitative and
qualitative data was a response to unconrmed rumors of victimization, particularly of females, it was considered
important to model multiple ways of collecting and analyzing data. Additionally, photos and text submitted by students
were judged collaboratively by a panel of teachers and student representatives based on the visual and textual messaging
of examples of friendship, mobility, solidarity, and respect for each other. Aer the competition, the photos and text were
uploaded to social media.
Intervention module
e module “Our Voices” was designed by the research team as an immediate intervention response to rumors of physical
and/or sexual harassment on campus. e PowerPoint presentation consisted of:
a. Visual and verbal explanation of respect: equality, trust, personal growth, negotiation, communication, role
modeling, accountability, and avoiding violence
b. A brief scenario of a physical assault was introduced to inform about types of violence and abuse, issues of power
and control followed by:
c. Demonstration of physical and verbal strategies to avoid violence.
d. Students were invited or volunteered to participate in the practice of (c) followed by an informal large group
discussion of how these strategies might be applied to the brief scene of a physical assault.
Method
All university community members (students, teachers, administration, security and building sta) simultaneously
were invited to anonymously complete the Survey online through a Google Form received in their institutional email.
Besides, to enhance anonymity, respondents were not required to assign gender, age, or academic year on the Survey. e
Survey (Appendix A) was available during February 2019. It consisted of 12 items. Eleven of the items were numerically
evaluated. e nal survey item, "additional comments," was analyzed for thematic content.
e pilot intervention ‘Our Voices’ as implemented with a convenience group during February 2019. Participants
informal comments were recorded.
During March 2019, students were invited online through institutional email to share their individual or group
experiences of friendship, mobility, solidarity, and respect for each other by submitting photos to a competition. Photos
were required to be accompanied by a text of not more than 280 characters dening or adding to what could be seen in
the photo, what was happening, whether the situation should be discussed, and what could be done about it. A panel
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of four professors from design, international studies, tourism, administration, and a student representative judged the
photos on the basis of the eectiveness of the communicative intent of friendship, mobility, solidarity, and respect.
Results
A total of 718 members of the university community participated in the online Survey. Included in the Administration
total are security and building sta.
Students: 489
Teachers: 146
Administration: 83
Total: 718
ere are many similarities, as well as some dierences in the quantitative results. For example, all three groups of
respondents had high levels of apprehension about personal and property safety outside of the University (Question 1).
Question 2 is related to the perception of the campus's attitude towards the following groups: people with disabilities,
foreign students, feminists, gays, lesbians, transgender, indigenous, and Afro-Ecuadorians. Teachers and students rated
people with disabilities, foreign students, indigenous and Afro-Ecuadorian similarly high. For administration, the
distribution was more even across the groups, perhaps reecting roles and assignments that are more formal and socially
distant compared to teacher and student ongoing experiences.
Question 3 asked respondents if they saw or heard oensive messages either through print, grati, or social media.
Results are very similar for the three groups, with jokes, comments in general and social media noted as the most likely
to occur.
Question 4 required detailed responses concerning respondents’ experience of hate scenes, for example, verbal, email, or
phone threats, the of personal property, objects thrown at you, being followed and/or spit on, threatened with physical
aggression, calls or sounds, physical assault, unwanted sexual behaviors and/or sexually harassed. Students reported
relatively high levels of experience with verbal, web images, property damage, being threatened with calls of sounds as
well as sexual harassment. Teachers reported higher levels of verbal and oensive web images as did administration but
additionally, property damage.
Question 5 asked for more specic information on whether respondents had been observed or followed by camera or
GPS, stalked (on foot), found threatening objects near them, received unwanted social media messages or gis, been
slandered or sent sexual comments social media. Across the three groups, evidence of these experiences was minimal.
Question 6 asked for responses to specic types of harassment, e.g., followed by a camera, received sexually explicit
phone/text messages, the pressure to date, and/or unwanted sexual gestures. Students reported the highest levels of
unwanted sexual gestures, with all three groups reporting experiences of being followed by a camera.
Question 7: Questions related to intra-familiar physical violence such as pushing, slapping, throwing objects, bent
ngers, hair pulling, punching, kicking, burning, threatening, and using a weapon. Students noted low levels across all
categories, with teachers and administration noting pushing and object throwing at higher levels than students.
Question 8 sought responses to intervention or bystander strategy use. For example, accompanying a friend who had
drunk too much home, asking friends of someone drinking too much to take care of her/him, protesting a sexist joke,
asking someone who looked upset if they were OK, distracted someone trying to take advantage of another person who
has drunk too much, defending another from physical attack. All groups reported consistently high participation rates
across the situations.
Responses related to questions of existing administrative policy, Question 9 (on victim rights and oender sanction),
Question 10 (knowing the University protocol for reporting violence), and Question 11 on future policy decisions
yielded varying results.
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For example, on question 9: How do you perceive the UDA's actions about inappropriate sexual behaviors? (physical
or non-physical contact of a sexual nature in the absence of explicit, conscious, and voluntary consent, for example,
sexual or gender-based harassment, harassment, dating violence), administration rated a higher level of satisfaction than
teachers and students.
Figure 1. Teachers survey, question 9. How do you perceive the actions of the UDA in relation to inappropriate sexual behaviors?
(physical or non-physical contact of a sexual nature in the absence of clear, conscious and voluntary consent, for example, sexual or
gender-based harassment, harassment, dating violence).
* e scale indicates the number of teachers who answered the survey. Source: Adapted from Gallup Inc. (2014)
Figure 2. Teachers survey, question 9. How do you perceive the actions of the UDA in relation to inappropriate sexual behaviors?
(physical or non-physical contact of a sexual nature in the absence of clear, conscious and voluntary consent, for example, sexual or
gender-based harassment, harassment, dating violence).
* e scale indicates the number of students who answered the survey. Source: Adapted from Gallup Inc. (2014).
Figure 3. Administrative survey, question 9: How do you perceive the actions of the UDA in relation to inappropriate sexual
behaviors? (physical or non-physical contact of a sexual nature in the absence of clear, conscious, and voluntary consent, for example,
sexual or gender-based harassment, harassment, dating violence):
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* The scale indicates the number of admnistraves who answered the survey. Source: Adapted from Gallup Inc. (2014)
Question 10 concerning knowledge about existing protocols yielded very diverse responses from the three groups with
75% of administration being familiar with them, 60% of teachers and 25% students.
Figure 4. Teachers, students and administrative survey, question 10: Do you know if the university has any regulations on violence
on campus?
* e scale indicates the number of people (teachers, students, administrators) who answered the survey. Source: Adapted from
Gallup Inc. (2014)c. (2014)
Question 11 asked if there were other factors that, in the respondents’ opinions, could improve campus security by rating
the following protocols. ere was, in fact, close agreement from the three respondent groups.
Figure 5. Question 11: Are there other factors that, in your opinion, could improve your campus security?
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* e scale indicates the number of people (students, teachers, administrators) who answered the survey. Source: Adapted from
Gallup Inc. (2014)
Question 12, “Other Comments,” yielded many responses from each group. Example comments chosen were agreed
by the authors of the research based on themes demonstrated in the intervention module: negotiation, equality, trust,
accountability, personal growth, communication, role modelling and avoiding violence
Students comments:
1. I would love to have everyone protected in the university equally…. no "relatives" or "acquaintances" within the
university. ere is a clear feeling of bias for characters with certain types of surnames and "parents" …. or are
"great entrepreneurs." Continue working for equality where the money is not a factor in determining certain causes.
(equality, trust, accountability)
2. Focus on the behavior of teachers, not just students. (communication & role modeling)
3. It is necessary that students can also report cases of teachers who attack students in any way and who drink alcohol
inside the institution and encourage students to be aggressive. (accountability, role modeling, communication)
4. e university never takes or has taken action against sexual or physical harassment of students by students or,
worse, teachers or representatives of the administration. (accountability, role modeling)
5. I think it is important to know what authority one can resort to in case of some type of abuse, and how is the system
for people to access more easily. (accountability, communication, trust)
6. Many times, students do not report certain behaviors because they believe they are not "very serious." It should be
made known that there is a complaint protocol and that it can be done in each case. (accountability, communication)
7. I think that this should be deepened a little more with teachers since some do give priority and facilities for the
simple fact of gender; more attention should be paid to the behaviors of professors reported in the assessments than
to the students. (accountability, role modeling, communication)
Teachers’ comments (Question 12)
1. Very interesting, but I don't nd any harassment of teachers to students, just as there is nothing about authorities
harassment to teachers and students. Not only at the sexual level, but at the level of discrimination based on political
ideas, ethnic self-denition, generic gender identity, and religious beliefs. e UDA is a highly intolerant space
regarding the diversity of opinions, which supports some, and represses others. And that comes directly from the
administrative implementation of the policy. It seems to me that denying enrollment to those students with bad
behavior is very drastic. (accountability, communication, trust)
2. I think that there must be an accompaniment to the students, and above all, it must work in prevention and foster an
environment of respect. (accountability, trust, negotiation)
3. I think that violence oen nds its origin in language; it would be essential to promote a strong campaign of good
use of language, tangibly conditioning those who express themselves with vulgar language within the university
elds. (accountability)
4. e University must improve its communication strategies regarding sexual assault or harassment since many
students (and teachers) are unaware of the institution's policies and process to investigate them. As this is not
known, students do not know where to go or what will happen if they make a complaint and have the right to know.
(accountability)
5. Promote educational spaces that rescue moral and ethical values. (trust, equality, negotiation)
6. It is important that the University addresses serious training processes to understand the root problems of coexistence
and violence. Within the area of anthropology, we have contents that point to the study of how the processes of
racism, machismo, homophobia among others, are a proposal of academic analysis, but also of collective analysis
about our behaviors and how socially we can give change responses to eradicate all forms of discrimination that
reproduce unfair societies. I applaud this initiative, and it would be convenient to start dialogues with teachers that
we are working on these issues from our areas of knowledge. (accountability, communication)
Administration comments (Question 12)
1. Internal communication should be improved, on provisions, regulations, to improve administrative stas actions.
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