Climate survey seeks MU's opinions

To determine what life is like in Millersville University, a climate survey will be sent to all students, faculty and staff. It will be distributed via email and for those who do not have access to a computer, paper copies will be available at the Delaware house, across from the old library.

The link to access the survey will be emailed on Feb. 16, and it will be open until March 6.

“It is important for Millersville University to have a mechanism in place to allow for students, faculty, and staff to voice their opinions, issues, and things that are important to them. Not all university’s have that,” said Mr. Hiram Martinez, associate director of the office of social equity and diversity.

The Social Equity Strategic Planning Advisory Committee (SESPAC) has been working together to develop this climate survey in an attempt to find out what life is like on Millersville University’s campus.

“We want to know what our current students, faculty and staff are thinking when it comes to how they feel about campus life,” said Ms. Patricia Hopson-Shelton, the assistant to the president and also the head of SESPAC.

According to Hopson-Shelton, among a few topics that will be included in the survey are perception of campus climate, demographic information about religion, personal experiences on campus and work life issues.

Some questions are strictly for faculty and staff, while others are designed especially for students.

Several of the questions also include text boxes for those who wish to further explain their answers. The survey responses are confidential because the Internet Protocol (IP) addresses will be erased. One of the things that was taken into consideration when making the climate survey the types of questions asked.

“We wanted to strategically ask questions that were going to give us the most information by not overlooking certain groups,” said Martinez also a member of SESPAC. According to Martinez, the survey will take approximately 30 minutes to complete.

The climate survey is a way of measuring the attitudes of people and the overall feel of the campus environment.

“This survey is not interested in addressing any particular issues. It is a proactive way of staying current on the university,” stated Hopson-Shelton.

She believes it is about how respectful groups and individuals are to each other. The last survey of this stature was conducted in 2001.

As an outcome of that particular survey, the “Millersville University Strategic Plan for Equity, Diversity, and Community” was born.

This plan includes: Institutional Commitment, Research and Scholarship, Curriculum and Pedagogy, Recruitment and Retention of Underrepresented Students, Faculty and Staff, and Inter-Group and Intra-Group Relations.

These five goals are in place today as a result of the 2001 survey.

“The Strategic Plan informs our decision making here at the Office of Social Equity and Diversity,” said Martinez, who joined Millersville University’s team when the 2001 survey results came out.

Both Hopson-Shelton and Martinez stress the importance of participation in this survey.
“The committee has to reach the audience and it is dependent on word of mouth. I create awareness through students that I have access to, but as a whole, I will be happy if we get 50 percent participation,” said Martinez.

He encourages students, faculty and staff who are members of SESPAC to let their friends, students and co-workers know about the survey and its value to our university.