CCSU Offers Campus Climate Survey to Improve Campus Culture

Samantha Bender, Assistant News Editor

Central Connecticut is giving the campus community an opportunity to be heard and to create a safe, welcoming and inclusive campus culture for all by offering a voluntary climate survey.

The questionnaire aims to allow students to share their voice and assist in shaping the campus’s future.

“We are working with the UCLA Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) to administer web-based surveys tailored to each facet of our community: students, staff, and faculty,” President Dr. Zulma R. Toro stated to the Central community. “The surveys will be a blend of questions specific to CCSU with core questions that are part of a national survey.”  

The survey has been developed by HERI over a period of years and, once completed, all of the data will be sent to them so that they can perform an initial analysis for the university. As of now, the analysis is set to be finished some time this summer and it will then allow the university to begin their own interpretation of the data.

Interim Vice President for Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Dr. Nancy Barcelo is eager to get a sense of how individuals feel about the campus as well as finding where Central’s strengths are and where the university has some gaps.

“It’ll give us some key information and I think it’ll also compliment the draft of our strategic plan if it gets approved,” Barcelo said. “It’ll provide the information that we need to make some objectives or actionable items to address during our strategic planning.”

This year, the university had an opportunity to include some questions that they felt were necessary in order to address certain aspects of the campus. There are 20 additional questions on the faculty and staff survey which are geared more specifically to the campus, though the student survey remains fairly broad and open.

“Your responses are confidential and, with that in mind, we encourage you to be as honest, accurate and constructive as possible,” Dr. Toro stated in her email.

Students, faculty and staff are also able to skip any questions in the survey that they do not feel comfortable answering. 

Barcelo acknowledges that the survey is rather long, which can discourage individual’s from completing it, though the university has seen an upsurge in responses. The residence halls in particular have been extremely helpful in encouraging students to take the survey. 

The climate survey is a partnership between multiple units at the university including the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment and Student Affairs.

“We’re all throwing our hat in the ring, so to speak, to make this happen and if Student Affairs wasn’t involved, I’m not sure we would get the response from residence halls,” Barcelo said. “We also want to make sure commuter students have an opportunity to respond.”

While participation in the survey is completely voluntary, as an incentive, the first 100 students to complete the survey will be entered into a raffle for either an Xbox One or a Playstation 4 gaming system. All students who complete the survey will receive a $2 voucher for the Student Center’s Devil’s Den. 

For all the students, faculty and staff that have not yet completed the survey and would like to do it, make sure to check the CCSU email for the access link now through April.