Administrators receive results of campus climate survey, professor Rinehart discusses general themes

Walkway+in+front+of+Skillman+Library.+%28Photo+by+Lauren+Fox%29.

Walkway in front of Skillman Library. (Photo by Lauren Fox).

Gabrielle Tropp

Results of the college’s most recent survey to assess Lafayette’s campus climate have been finalized and will be made available to the campus community later this November. The survey asked questions about a range of issues like discrimination and safety on campus

Last spring semester, the focus group Demographic Perspectives helped Lafayette conduct their campus climate survey. Since then, the firm has been working on compiling the results and sharing preliminary trends with administrators. Campus-wide presentations of the full results will occur on Nov. 12 and 13.

Robin Rinehart, Dean of Faculty and professor of Religious Studies, is one of the individuals involved in processing the results of the study, along with Dean of Students Chris Hunt and Vice President of Campus Life Annette Diorio.

While the results are not public, Rinehart said that the data so far has been showing that Lafayette students are generally happy to be on campus with more than three-quarters of students who think campus is “a good place to be a student.” Additionally, on the whole, both students and faculty feel that the classroom environment encourages conversation.

However, there were some more negative results that the data showed.

“The survey shows that while everyone thinks that Lafayette does a good job sharing information, students, staff and faculty are less confident that when they share information that it filters upwards and leads to actions or outcomes,” Rinehart said.

Rinehart added that another “interesting finding” of the survey was that there was a new area where students reported feeling intimidation, bias or unfair behavior. In addition to race, ethnicity and gender issues which were also reported on the 2010 Campus Climate Study, students in the new study reported feeling bias in accordance with political identification.

While the results of the study are still being finalized, Rinehart said, “it’s a strong reminder that there is always work to do to make Lafayette a more inclusive campus.”

Rinehart declined to release any additional details on the survey.

Jessica Brown, Educational Equity Coordinator, added that in the coming months she would like to conduct a more comprehensive campus climate survey that’s related specifically to sexual violence and sexual harassment.

“I know [in] the campus climate survey that happened recently, there wasn’t a focus on those issues, so I would like to get a better read if possible on where the campus is as a whole,” Brown added.