Patterns in Interviews

The past two weeks have been filled with interviews for me. Of the twelve I have scheduled, I have completed seven so far, and will be conducting three more next week. I have genuinely enjoyed having these conversations with students and administrators alike. In regards to my question of the differences in their perceptions of the effectiveness of the sexual assault resources available to survivors, I have noticed some obvious patterns that I was expecting. Though I haven’t started coding these interviews yet, these patterns have presented themselves to me throughout the interviews I’ve conducted. Generally among the students there is the thought that their schools are not doing enough for survivors, and that though change has happened in the time they have spent at their school, it is not happening fast enough for their liking. Administrators, on the other hand, such as those in charge of student affairs, have been at their respective schools for a longer amount of time and have seen more long-term change, which they think has been extremely helpful to their schools’ survivors. In general, my interviews with students have taken a more negative tone in regards to their school, while my interviews with administrators have taken a more positive tone.

Additionally, I have noticed that there might even be some misinformation about school policy floating around amongst students, after interviewing students and administrators from the same schools. The two groups have occasionally said different things regarding policy that do not align. For example, one faculty member mentioned that she would like more funding but that, with no specified donations to her department, she couldn’t get that extra funding. A student at the same school expressed similar discontent with the lack of funding for that resource, but complained that it was because the school refused to allocate the money, instead allocating it to sports departments and other places she felt had more money. I think this could take an interesting turn in the final product of this project once I complete my interviews and start coding.

However, I have had trouble filling the twelfth interviewee slot, and I have my suspicions as to why. I am trying to interview an administrator from a school recently in the news for a sexual misconduct “scandal” on campus, and trying to find an administrator that wants to talk about what they think of their campus’s sexual assault resources in the aftermath is proving difficult. I received an email that essentially told me no administrator was in charge of reports of sexual assault, which I can’t imagine is actually true and which I believe was an attempt to get me to stop emailing their office. Even after multiple emails of reassurance that I am not trying to write a scathing exposé of how their school deals or does not deal with survivors of sexual assault, I still got the runaround from their office. I’ve decided to continue trying to find someone by asking my other interview subjects from the same school who I might be able to talk to.

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