Frequently Asked Questions

What does B.E.A.R.S. stand for?

Bowdoin Experiences and Attitudes about Relationships and Sex.

What is the B.E.A.R.S. Survey?

The B.E.A.R.S. Survey (Bowdoin Experiences and Attitudes about Relationships and Sex) is a tool to collect important information concerning the culture at Bowdoin and student experiences here on campus. The survey will measure:

  • campus culture and safety
  • awareness of College resources and responses
  • attitudes and perceptions surrounding relationships and sexual situations, including sexual assault and misconduct

The survey is completely anonymous.

What are the goals of the survey?

  • Understand students’ experiences and perceptions of relationships and sexual situations, including sexual assault and misconduct
  • Learn how to better prevent sexual misconduct and gender based violence on campus
  • Help build a community of sexual respect

What did the survey ask about?

The survey included a variety of questions that asked about student experiences regarding relationships and sexual situations at Bowdoin.

Are my answers anonymous?


Survey responses are completely anonymous. Students received a unique link to the survey. When they completed the survey, their email, name and IP address were automatically erased by the Qualtrics survey software. Bowdoin is not able to connect responses back to individual students.

Who developed the survey?

The survey was a collaborative effort involving a group of students and administrators here at Bowdoin. Many questions were sourced directly (with permission) from the previously released MIT and AAU surveys. In addition, several questions were adapted from, Williams College and Stanford University.

What will Bowdoin do with the survey results?

Bowdoin has shared aggregated results with the Bowdoin community. Any information that could be potentially identifying was not shared. Bowdoin will use the survey results to inform prevention programming and educate the community about sexual assault and misconduct.

Will I get to see the survey results?


Bowdoin shared a summary report of results November 2016.

What if I reveal something on the survey that could be considered illegal or violates Bowdoin policies?

The survey’s only purpose is to gather information about student experiences on campus in order to guide awareness, prevention, and response efforts at Bowdoin. Therefore, responses were completely anonymous and are not linked to the person in any way.

I would like to talk to someone about sexual misconduct or gender based violence at Bowdoin. Whom should I contact?

To make a report about sexual misconduct or gender based violence, please contact Benje Douglas at or 207-721-5189.

There are many resources available to you on campus. You can view your resources at, or you can view a flowchart of resource options here.

I still have questions about the B.E.A.R.S. Survey. Whom should I contact?

Please e-mail Benje Douglas at or call 207-721-5189 with any questions about the B.E.A.R.S. survey.