The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

What’s up with the Campus Climate Study?


Why it’s important to make your voice heard

“The campus climate study.”

When I first saw it written in the Student Senate agenda, I thought it was an inconsequential thing and was only excited because it meant Monica Nixon, Ed.D, the assistant provost of inclusion and diversity, was coming to talk to our group.

However, during her presentation, I realized that the survey was probably one of the most important ways to get involved with our campus. That sounds dramatic, but I stand by it. The campus climate study is not about the weather; it is about how students (undergrad and graduate), faculty and staff experience life here at St. Joe’s.

St. Joe’s is not a perfect institution, though I doubt there is one out there. However, this survey, which was sent out on Feb. 6, has the potential to fix many of those issues that the school faces. It also provides a chance to highlight where our school excels.

The strongest feature of the survey is that it is tailored to each individual who takes it, so that it perfectly encapsulates how you feel and have felt on campus.

For example, the survey now knows what it’s like for a white, cis-female, first generation college student, queer, lower-middle class person named Rachel to go to St. Joe’s. No one else on campus could fill out the survey the way I did, and no one else on campus can fill out the survey the way you can.

Now you might be asking: if no one else can fill out the survey like me, won’t it be easy to tell who says what? What if the school doesn’t like what I have to say? Fear not, all answers are anonymous.

They aren’t sent to the administration, but to Rankin & Associates (a consulting firm that analyzes mass amounts of data), who compile and organize all the information. St. Joe’s won’t know it was you, so feel free to rant and rave to your heart’s content, if you so choose.

The survey is not just for negative experiences either, as solely focusing on that would give an incomplete picture of St. Joe’s climate. It also has space to talk about the times where St. Joe’s  had what you needed. So even if you’re sitting here, reading this and thinking that you only have good things to say, your voice is important as well!

However, I do want to stress that if you’re a student that doesn’t fit the majority (i.e. are not white, upper-middle class, straight, or cisgender) your voice is imperative in this study. Yes, St. Joe’s wants to hear from everyone, but there’s a numbers component, too.

Since minoritized students are not in the majority, there is a chance that lack of participation would leave their experiences out of what is considered statistically generalizable data.

Even if two queer students or two students of color say they’ve experienced prejudice on campus, because not enough students responded, that data cannot be generalized. Therefore, that data cannot be presented before the school.

Without more data, presenting data collected from just two students would amount to representing the entirety of a specific population with just two voices.

Every voice is important to amplify the others as well. So not only can no one else take the survey like you, but you taking the survey is also important for everyone’s voice to be heard.

Much like our civic responsibility as citizens to vote, it is our responsibility as students to participate in this survey. It provides the framework for how St. Joe’s will move forward in the future. It will help the university better serve students, faculty and staff by helping them to see what policies need to be altered, added, or removed and what environments are the most beneficial and conducive to learning.

At max, it takes 20 minutes, and that’s if you want to write paragraphs like me. Plus, you also get the chance to win free parking, a donation to a charity of your choice, and other cool prizes (like stickers). The survey will close March 6, so take it today.

The survey can be found by Google searching “St. Joe’s climate study” or by visiting

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