campus climate survey underway at SOU

Experiences, beliefs and opinions sampled in ongoing “campus climate” study

SOU students and employees have until May 24 to participate in a 15-minute, online “campus climate” survey that will measure experiences, beliefs and opinions about diversity, equity and inclusion at the university, and serve as a baseline to gauge future progress and to make future comparisons of  SOU’s climate with that of other institutions.

Incentives to take part in the survey include a variety of random drawings: for each of two $50 gift cards, and for numerous $10 food truck vouchers, with the total number determined by level of participation.

Vice President for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Toya Cooper and SOU’s EDI  Leadership Team contracted with SoundRocket, a Michigan-based survey research organization that specializes in higher education consultation. Respondents’ answers to the survey will remain anonymous, and will be used to determine steps the university can take to develop and grow a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment.

“The data will help SOU gain a baseline for the climate, which can be measured against data collected from future iterations of the survey,” Cooper and the EDI team said. “The survey will be used to inform policy, programmatic efforts and practices aimed at SOU’s commitment to creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community where all learners flourish.”

The survey began on May 3 and will remain open through Tuesday, May 24. SOU students and employees began receiving invitations by email on May 3, and a reminder on May 4, both with links to the survey.

SOU undertook a similar campus climate survey two years ago, but that was conducted on a different platform so it is important for all members of the campus community to participate in the current survey, to gain a more accurate reflection of all perspectives.

Most questions for the survey are part of SoundRocket’s standard survey for equity, diversity and inclusion. A handful of other, SOU-specific questions were developed collaboratively by SOU and the vendor.

The incentives are intended to reward participation and generate enough responses to produce valid data. The two $50 gift cards will be widely usable, such as Visa or Mastercard. The $10 meal vouchers will be for use at either of two food trucks – Empanada Caba and Sultan’s Delight – that will visit campus from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on June 2. Three SOU musical groups will perform during the food truck event.

A total of 50 meal vouchers will be given to randomly selected student participants if the overall response rate is 30 percent; the number will rise to 200 vouchers for a 40 percent response rate and to 340 vouchers for a 50 percent rate. For employees, there will be 30 vouchers for a 30 percent response rate, 40 vouchers for a 40 percent rate and 60 vouchers for a 50 percent rate.