Survey on Student Life Results Released

Five hundred and fifty students participated in Allegheny Student Government’s Survey on Student Life, which was conducted online between Feb. 9 and Feb. 28.

Director of Student Affairs Zack Rearick, ’10, the main coordinator of the survey, was “pleasantly surprised” by the voter turnout.

“Five hundred and fifty people was more than I anticipated getting through the entire survey – that’s about 25 percent of the campus,” Rearick said. “We tried to get as many people as possible to take it using Facebook, flyers, even Res Life tried to get their residents involved. I was satisfied with the number of voters.”

Sex and Greek affiliation were surprising factors in the survey results. 356 student voters identified as female while only 185 identified as male, with the remaining students identifying as “other.” Over half of the voters identified as a member of a Greek organization.

“There were significantly more women who voted than men and many more were Greek than not,” Rearick said.

Assistant Director of Student Affairs Morgan Finton, ’12, was also satisfied with the turnout “because it’s hard to get students to participate in campus-wide surveys.”

“The highest student approval was between dining services and Programming & Events,” Finton said. “The lowest-rated was computing services, particularly regarding wireless access.”

Two hundred and seventy of the 550 students voted “Unsatisfied” or “Very Unsatisfied” with computing services.

“We meet with computer services every month and they’re aware of student dissatisfaction,” Finton said. “They have pledged to make every dorm wireless by 2012.”

McKinley’s supervisor Lynn Smith said the high ratings for dining services showed a “big improvement” compared to the last couple of years.
“We’re really striving for a great dining experience for the students,” Smith said. “This is definitely encouraging.”

Rachel Faber, ’11, found the survey results particularly gratifying due to her role as ASG’s Director of Concerts and Special Events.

“I was very pleased to see that less than 10 percent of people who voted were displeased with the programs and events offered at Allegheny,” Faber said. “I’m proud to say that I contribute to the planning along with the rest of the Major Events Committee.”
Finton believes the Year of Social Change events contributed to the high rating for programming.

“I think that people definitely realize that Programming & Events has a crapload to do,” Finton continued. “People really realize what we do and ASG gets appeciated, like with how much money alone we spend on the Year of Social Change and speakers. And this way, ASG can see we’re giving the right amount to the right events.”
Forty-eight percent of voters were “Satisfied” and 14 percent of voters were “Very Satisfied” with planning, while the rest of the voters were ambivalent or did not have a basis on which to vote. according to Faber.

Rearick explained how a lot of time has been put into condensing the results to release to the campus into a comprehensible layout.

“What we ended up with was a massive spreadsheet, like a thousand pages long,” Rearick said, “So for the last two weeks, we’ve been trying to turn this giant spreadsheet into a format more readable.”

The summary ASG expects to release will not include the personal student comments because the survey was intended to be anonymous. ASG wishes to protect the identities of the students, according to Rearick.

“When we share the results with the different services or departments, we go through and delete the individual comments that could potentially identify a student,” Rearick said. “Like if someone says, ‘I’m an RA in this building…’ we take those comments out because if they have a complaint and their boss reads it, we don’t want their honest comments to be held against them or make anyone lose their job.”

Discussion between ASG and the different services about their survey ratings will be in progress for the rest of the year. The complete results (excluding individual student comments) will be composed into “a full summary and made available soon” to the campus, according to Rearick.