Date of Thesis

Spring 2019

Thesis Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Type

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering

Major

Computer Science

Second Major

Women's and Gender Studies

Minor, Emphasis, or Concentration

Mathematics

First Advisor

Professor Darakhshan Mir

Second Advisor

Professor Evan Peck

Third Advisor

Professor Erica Delsandro

Keywords

sexual assault, data collection, metadata analysis, human-computer interaction, participatory design, feminist approach

Abstract

Sexual assault is a rampant issue on college campuses in the United States. Colleges and universities use a variety of survey instruments to collect data regarding sexual assault as a means to improve campus culture, policies, and resources. These instruments contain a wealth of associated information in the form of metadata, that is, data about data.

This project takes a human-centered socio-technical approach to understanding the data collection processes associated with sexual assault, specifically, on the campus of Bucknell University. By identifying the underlying metadata within the data collection processes, this research contextualizes and critiques the process of data collection, reporting, and usage. It also identifies the gaps in the data collection process that could result in an underreporting of sexual assault statistics on Bucknell’s campus. In addition, the project employed participatory approaches to illustrate a process of data collection, sharing, and usage, that would incorporate stakeholder feedback. Through small focus groups, student input was collected on the survey instruments, campus policies, and resources surrounding sexual assault. This process identified the most appropriate and informative metadata surrounding the surveys, and allowed users to suggest designs for alternative processes and structures that address the issue of sexual assault.

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