Established 1826 — Oldest College Newspaper West of the Alleghenies

Campus climate survey - change comes from engaging

The following reflects the majority opinion of the editorial board.

We've been receiving email after email about it for weeks. It's been promoted on just about every Miami social media account. And likely, there's a large population of students who saw the email float through their inbox, and deleted it immediately or just ignored it.

And not enough of us filled it out. And that's not ok.

Our climate survey failed, receiving just over 20 percent of a response rate, effectively making it ineligible for analysis.

For undergraduates, the response rate was 17 percent.

Generally speaking, the survey only takes 20, maybe 30 minutes to fill out. You can put a little more effort into it if you want, or you can skim through it, but hell, skimming through it would've been better than not responding at all.

So we have a question for the Miami students, the 80 percent, that didn't fill out the survey.

Did you not have 20 minutes in your week, your month, to fill out a survey that pertains to every single student on this campus? How they feel about being here? Could you not spare one moment to give your feedback to Miami so our university, our home, can improve?

This survey cost over 100 thousand dollars to run. And we treated it like it was an irrelevant piece of dirt.

Maybe students are just complacent with Miami's climate. Maybe people don't want to participate in a conversation about changing the culture of Miami. Maybe people didn't understand what the survey was about.

And yes, email is probably the worst form of communication to try and get a student response from. Our inboxes are all flooded beyond belief with Canvas notifications, newsletters, weekly emails from various listservs and so on.

But if that's the case, then our answer shouldn't be to ignore the survey, it should be to call on Miami to change the way they reach out to us -- the way they gauge our opinions on how we feel about this campus.

And there's so many ways this could take form.

We could have students take the survey at the beginning or end of one of their classes. We could provide incentives for professors to give to students if they take the survey. UNV 101, for example, would be the perfect class to try this out with students.

But for the university to spend that kind of money and have it not work out is unacceptable. And that's on us for not filling it out.

This survey is the basis for important research about Miami and is even more important to giving the university feedback on what needs to be fixed on campus.