Carleton College's student newspaper since 1877

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Climate survey participation low, despite high expectations

<ite a cross-departmental advertising campaign and catered survey-taking parties, the participation rate for Carleton’s campus climate survey is well below the initial goal.

On April 7, Associate Dean Joe Baggot told CSA Senate that he hoped that 90 percent of students, faculty, and staff would take the survey. On Monday, Dean Baggot reported that only 21 percent of the Carleton community had participated.

“We aimed high, which wasn’t a bad thing” Dean Baggot said, “but now it’s a matter of encouraging people to participate.”

The campus climate survey is an online study, meant to assess perceptions of equity within the Carleton community.

The survey was proposed by Carleton’s Diversity Initiative Group (DIG), and constructed by a Pennsylvania consulting firm. Besides crafting the questions and administering the survey, Rankin & Associates Consulting will evaluate the results and make a plan for the college to move forward.

Promoters of the survey have struggled in identifying reasons for the low turnout. Early in the campaign, DIG faced questions regarding the promotional slogan “Got Climate?” Some students said they thought the slogan referred to an environmental survey, and questioned the effectiveness of the minimalist advertising. This week DIG responded with another round of postcards in campus mailboxes, and tabling in Sayles. With an invigorated advertising campaign, DIG still faces questions regarding the importance of the survey.

“It hasn’t been laid out to me what the college is doing with the information,” John Olmsted ’09 said, “if I could see that something positive was being done with my survey I might have some incentive to take the time.” Olmsted said he might take the survey, but his busy week has made it tough to find the time.

“Some people think that 20 to 30 minutes is a long time,” Maya Warren ’07 said, “it’s not a long time for the amount of impact it can have on our campus climate.” Warren is a research assistant at Carleton, and is a member of the DIG subcommittee that oversaw the hiring of the consultant and the implementation of the survey.

Warren said she is optimistic that the survey will lead to institutional and social change on campus. Because the results of the survey are still unknown, Warren said she does not know what changes would look like.

“If [the change] is just being more aware about us as a community, something positive will eventually come out of it… I have faith Carleton will use what [Rankin] says to make a change for the better.”

Rankin & Associates has told the college that statistically valuable conclusions can be drawn from the data with as little as 30 percent of the community participating.

The survey is available online until Sunday at 11:59pm.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Carletonian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *