Campus climate survey asks whether participants fear microaggressions

The University of New Mexico recently opened a campus climate survey for staff, which asks whether they feel that UNM 'has a strong commitment to' DEI.

UNM conducted a survey on Racial and Intersectional Microaggressions (RIMAs) in 2021, which earmarked $10,000 total to award the first 1,000 participants.

The University of New Mexico (UNM) recently opened a campus climate survey for staff. The survey aims to “[h]elp create a climate that fosters diversity and success,” according to a description on UNM’s website. 

“You can support this effort by taking an online climate survey that asks about: attitudes, behaviors, and standards of faculty, staff, administrators and students, respect for individual needs, abilities, and potential across units," and "allocation of research assets and the community wealth of the peoples of New Mexico,” the description tells participants. 

“As a public research university that is committed to fostering an equitable and inclusive environment for our entire community, understanding our campus climate is an important step toward ensuring UNM’s future success,” Cinnamon Blair, the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer for UNM, told Campus Reform

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“This voluntary research project is being conducted by the Division of Equity and Inclusion in order to give the Lobo community an opportunity to share their perceptions and experiences, so that we may better understand how we can strategically improve our campus climate, and measure our progress.”

The Division for Equity and Inclusion, which also lists an “LGBTQ Resource Center Survey for Faculty and Staff,” will administer student surveys later in the spring 2023 semester. 

The staff survey asks participants to rate the extent to which they agree with a series of statements. Participants rate whether they feel that UNM “has a strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion” and “provides sufficient programs and resources to foster the success of a diverse staff.” 

Conversely, participants rate whether “[t]here is too much emphasis put on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion.” 

Participating staff also identify where UNM falls between two extremes, including on a scale between “Non-ageist” and “Ageist.” 

[RELATED: University defends $21,500 diversity survey price tag]

A question about safety asks whether participants have “[f]ear of microaggressions.” The survey defines “Racial and Intersectional Microaggressions (RIMAs)” as “‘brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional.’”

UNM conducted a separate RIMA survey for students in 2021, which awarded $10 to the first 1,000 participants. 

Participants in the staff campus climate survey have nine options for their “gender/gender identity/gender expression.” “I identify as-” and “I’m figuring it out” are among the options. 

Campus Reform contacted the Division for Equity and Inclusion. This article will be updated accordingly.