Today I received more information about the campus climate survey that students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to take in order to make Drake;s campus better and more aligned with what the community wants to see.
Professor Renee Cramer tells me that “Rankin and Associates conducted focus groups on campus in late fall 2014, to help refine the survey instrument to best reflect Drake’s unique campus environment. Using her already established bank of test questions, the Drake team went through the entire survey several times, adding questions and removing questions to best survey our population. The team ran sections of the survey by several different constituencies on campus, to make sure we were using inclusive language, capturing a wide range of experiences, and conducting the survey respectfully.”
Cramer was excited to tell me that “one of the coolest technical aspects of the survey is how it uses its own internal logic to reveal to respondents the questions that they should answer, based on their previous answers to questions about identity and experience. A good survey helps those who take it learn as they go, and we are proud that this survey has already prompted conversations about identity categories and experiences at Drake!” She concluded here remarks by explaining that Rankin and Associates was chosen from a group of several outside consulting firms for its impeccable reputation and decades of experience with college and university campuses.
The response on social media from students and staff has been very interesting to look at. It is fun to see how different students are trying to get the word out about the importance of the survey. Students have been using the Twitter hashtag wemakeDrake to show their support for the initiative. There is also a wall in the Olmstead student union where students can tape up pieces of paper with the adjective that the bring to Drake’s campus written on it. This project helps to show people just passing through what contributions students are making to their campus community.