Department of Educational Administration


First Advisor

Dr. Brent Cejda

Date of this Version



Kallhoff, S.K. (2021) Deliberate indifference: An exploration of the student survivor activism group movement. [Master's thesis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln]


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Educational Administration, Under the Supervision of Professor Brent Cejda. Lincoln, Nebraska: May 2021

Copyright © 2021 Shyla Kallhoff


#MeToo. It’s On Us. End Rape on Campus. #BeTheSwede. Dear UNL. These phrases have united people all over the world to use their voices and speak out about sexual violence. In higher education, these statements empower students to make their voices heard, and simultaneously invoke fear in campus administrators who do not want to be held accountable for the mishandling/lack of Title IX cases. Student survivor activism groups, the subject of this study, have formed at universities around the country and often use similar statements to advocate for changes they feel need to happen. Finding no previous research, it is clear that the formation of these groups is a new phenomenon to be studied. The current study utilizes hermeneutical phenomenology to answer questions surrounding these groups and what outcomes have been produced, using Museus’s Culturally Engaging Campus Environments Model as a theoretical framework. Analysis of interviews/data follow the qualitative data analysis methods written about by Miles, Huberman, and Saldaña. Five participants representing four groups completed the interviews and revealed five themes of significance. The first theme shows the primary reason for involvement is personally experiencing sexual violence or knowing someone who has. The second theme was that students are willing to work with administrators, but do not feel supported. The third theme shows the groups are goal-oriented and are accomplishing these goals. A fourth theme identified is that survivors rely on each other for support. Finally, the fifth theme was an overall sense of distrust between survivors and their universities.

Advisor: Brent Cejda