Campus News

UW-Madison debuts campus climate survey

Chief Diversity Officer Patrick Sims spoke about the campus climate survey released to students Monday.

Image By: Thomas Yonash

UW-Madison released a campus climate survey to students Monday that will assess the experiences of people with various backgrounds and identities. 

The survey has already received hundreds of responses, according to Jacqui Scott-Papke, a research and program associate in the Office of the Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer. Scott-Papke, Chief Diversity Officer Patrick Sims and several other partners have been working on the survey for over a year.

Questions about how students perceive themselves and others being treated during classroom experiences, how ethnic studies courses have prepared students to engage in diverse climates and whether students have personally experienced or witnessed an act of exclusion or harassment are all found on the survey, which will take roughly 20 minutes to complete.

Sims explained that the survey was developed as a part of the university's 2015 Diversity Framework and Diversity Implementation Plan, both of which seek to set in stone ways the campus can improve attitudes and actions regarding equity and inclusion.  

It will be accessible to credit-earning students only by email. Scott-Papke also said that although this survey targets only students, there are plans to create later surveys for other members of the UW-Madison community, like faculty and staff. 

The university's goal is to have at least 20 percent of the student body—roughly 8,000 students—take the survey, which is currently being marketed in part through a video found on the survey's website, Scott-Papke explained. 

"The chancellor sent out an invite, I'll be sending out another invite," Sims said. "There's a whole strategy planned and put in place that will help students keep this at the top-of-mind."

After the survey closes Nov. 7, the data will be cleaned and analyzed, a process Sims estimated will extend through the spring semester. 

"That's the task, to figure out how we expand and improve upon what I think are some amazing resources and tools that the institution already provides," Sims explained. "How do we make that better? It's the constant and vigilant asking of that question." 

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