EDITORIAL: Taking advantage of your student voice

At issue: Student portion of the climate survey
Our take: The survey is an outlet for student expression

Voicing our opinions about Emerson with our friends, on social media, and in classes may feel cathartic, but they’re likely not passed on to the college in a meaningful way. The Climate Survey offers an easy way to pass feedback to the administration.

On Oct. 31, 2018, Emerson administered the student portion of the Emerson 360 Community Climate Survey. The survey, previously conducted in November 2014 and November 2017, “aims to gain a better understanding of students’ exposure to instances of power-based interpersonal violence and how they perceive institutional response to such incidents,” according to the school’s website. The student portion of the survey was not conducted last year out of respect for some student protesters from POWER who spoke out at Faculty Assembly in Oct. 2017.

Emerson offers us the Climate Survey to gauge our feelings and perspectives. Without the survey, both the administration and student population have no perception of the overall campus atmosphere. We—as students who pay for our education—have the right to express our view of the institution. The Climate Survey is one means to voice what we feel; so, if we don’t take the initiative, how can we expect the administration to understand everything? They afford us this opportunity, and it is our responsibility as students to take advantage of it. Last year, only staff and faculty took the survey and, while their views are important, students’ voices also need to be heard.

A large portion of the survey asks questions concerning Title IX and campus policies regarding these issues. It’s beneficial for students because with this data, the Title IX office can assess where they stand with the student body.

Surveys are the easiest way for students to advocate for change by informing the administration of their opinions, especially since they don’t take long. We know that emails and forums don’t always connect with students the way they intend. If we can take time out of our day to make a much-needed coffee run, we can and must allot a portion of our day—only up to 15 minutes—to give feedback to the institution that exists to educate us.

So, instead of watching another episode of The Office, take the Climate Survey.

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