Survey Gets Students’ Perspectives on ‘Gate

Kendra Opatovsky

On Tuesday, a random sample of 1,000 sophomores, juniors and seniors were notified by e-mail of their selection for participation in an extensive survey conducted by Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson, which seeks to assess academic, residential and social life at Colgate.

The survey serves to be a part of an effort of “strategic planning” for the Dean of the College Division.

“Going into my second year, I thought this was a great year to look at what we’re doing, how we can make it better and what else we can be focusing on,” Johnson said.

While the National Survey of Student Engagement is conducted annually, the Dean of the College has never undertaken this type of project in the past.

The survey included questions regarding the First- and Sophomore-Year experience, residential life, volunteerism opportunities on campus, wellness, student organizations, the Broad Street communities, social options and “generally whether we’re helping students become what they want to be.”

Data was also gathered from faculty and alumni for the survey.

“What we’re really trying to accomplish is to get student feedback,” Johnson said. “We can’t plan a vision for student life without hearing from students.”

The results of the survey will be compiled, analyzed and followed up with “Focus Groups” in the spring. These Focus Groups will be made up of representative samples of students, who will be asked specific questions, depending on the broader data, in order to gain more insight on particular issues.

“What I hope will come of it is that we can focus our resources in a way that’s more in line with students’ needs, as well as our vision of community,” Johnson said.

Dean Johnson’s motivation for the survey, she said, came from the students.

“I’m really inspired by the students in this, [such as] the workings of Student Government Association and The Maroon-News, and how educational and responsible they’ve been in respect to representing the student voice,” she said.