Residence Services works to maintain student satisfaction

Brittany Moseley

Record number of students take survey, are more satisfied with on-campus living

The majority of students living on campus are satisfied with Residence Services, according to the latest resident survey.

The results of the Fall 2007 Resident Survey were reviewed during a January training session for residence hall staffs.

The study was offered online to students living on campus from October 16 to November 13. About 6,100 e-mails were sent, and 2,489 students responded, the most to ever participate. The survey addressed student satisfaction on topics such as safety, facilities, programming and hall staff.

According to Educational Benchmarking Inc., the company that administers the survey, there was a 40 percent increase in respondents compared to the Spring 2007 survey. Betsy Joseph, director of Residence Services, said this is because students are more satisfied with Residence Services.

“Students are more satisfied on a variety of different issues then they were historically,” Joseph said. “Students were willing to take the time to provide that type of feedback as well.”

The survey is usually offered in the spring, but it was moved to the fall so Residence Services could have more time to make adjustments and attend to student concerns.

The survey addressed 19 factors involved with living on campus, and compared to the spring survey, student satisfaction was higher on all factors. Some of the factors were overall learning experience, personal interactions, room and floor environment and the sense of community.

Joseph said initiatives implemented last semester, such as community living agreements, are one reason students are more satisfied with on-campus living. All the residence halls have living agreements that were developed by students and hall staffs.

“We were trying to develop initiatives that would get students to be able to more effectively live within a community and understand the role that those interactions had on their ability to meet people, to be able to live cooperatively in a community, to be able to learn how to resolve problems and conflicts that they might have in there,” Joseph said.

Eighty-six percent said the community living agreements are still posted on their floors, and almost 67 percent of students said most residents are complying with the community living agreements.

Even with the positive survey results, Amy Quillin, associate director of Residence Services, said the department must continue to promote community.

“Community has always been a part of what we do in Residence Services, and sometimes we fail to verbalize it, but really it’s a prime mover and shaker of what we do.”

Kent Interhall Council is also getting more involved in the residence halls. KIC is known for Sextoberfest and Lil’ Sibs Weekend, but President Traci Sanders wants the group to also be known for its advocacy.

“We kind of have programming under control,” Sanders said. “Students are happy with things to do on campus. (Now) we can spend the time and money to spread advocacy.”

This was the first year KIC was addressed in the survey, and the majority of students said they didn’t know enough about the group to say whether or not it was effective in meeting student needs.

“We need to market who we are and what we do,” Sanders said. “If you have a problem that KIC can handle, bring it to us.”

Sanders said KIC plans to survey students every couple of weeks on issues such as what students need in residence halls and hall council issues. KIC is also sending its director of programming and representative at large to hall council meetings.

Even though the study saw the biggest turnout this year, 58 percent of on-campus students didn’t respond. Quillin encouraged students to respond to the next survey because it concerns them and their living environment.

“It’s one way students can provide input,” she said. “It’s a way to make your voice heard.”

Contact room and board reporter Brittany Moseley at [email protected].