In an effort to understand the concerns of students, faculty and staff at San Jose State University, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion appointed a Campus Climate and Belonging Committee (CCBC) to help develop the SJSU Campus Climate and Diversity Survey.
The 20-minute survey launches Tuesday, February 25 and runs through May 8. The campus climate and diversity survey is confidential and provides an opportunity to describe personal experiences and observations, while also offering suggestions for change to help enhance the campus climate at SJSU.
The survey, conducted by Rankin & Associates Consulting, must be completed without exiting the webpage and does not ask for name, Tower ID or any other identifying information. In order for the results of the survey to provide an accurate representation of the campus climate at SJSU, the goal is for at least 30% of the campus population to participate.
“Most campuses rollout climate surveys every three to five years,” said Chief Diversity Officer Kathy Wong(Lau). “This is not a kumbaya survey. We really want people to be honest, so in order for people to feel like they belong, we need to be able to understand what is causing problems for them or why they are having negative experiences. We can’t address concerns strategically if we don’t know what is going on.”
Wong(Lau) and the CCBC made up of students, faculty and staff spent months working with Rankin & Associates Consulting on the questions and answer options to ensure inclusivity for everyone on campus. Focus groups featuring a diverse group of students, faculty and staff provided feedback on areas of concern that the survey should address. The survey covers a variety of topics, including transportation, interpersonal interactions on campus, online classes, and assessment of resources.
“We’ve been working on this since last summer to make sure it is inclusive to everybody,” said Melissa Marston, a sociology graduate student and member of the CCBC. “The questions needed to represent everyone in the community. It’s for everybody and is questioned in a way where anyone can answer and share, and it’s confidential.”
Wong(Lau) said it was imperative for a third-party organization, like Rankin & Associates Consulting, to conduct the survey to ensure confidentiality for the survey. Everyone on campus, including the administration, will learn of the results of the study at the same time at a public event during the fall 2020 semester.
Rankin & Associates Consulting has conducted more than 200 similar studies at other institutions across the nation.
“We want people to feel comfortable, we don’t want people to feel like someone is tracking them,” said Wong(Lau). It’s on an independent website, you aren’t sharing any of your information—no ID numbers, no names. We want people to have confidence in the outcomes of the survey.”
A survey kickoff will be held on Tuesday at noon in the Diaz Compean Student Union Theater. Food will be provided and free SJSU swag will be given to those who complete the survey during the kickoff. Members of the CCBC will be in attendance to share information on the survey process and answer questions.
SJSU’s last campus climate survey was in 2015. Among the action items created from the results of the survey was the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.