New Paltz Students Share Their Opinion On The Campus Climate

American College Testing, Inc. (ACT), a non-profit research and testing organization, is currently administering a survey for SUNY New Paltz students regarding their feelings toward the university.

Lisa Ostrouch, research analyst for Institutional Research and Planning, said the survey has been conducted for the past 30 years. She said ACT administers the survey to all SUNY campuses once every three years and collects the data.

“The survey contributes to understanding how students view programs, services and facilities,” Ostrouch said. “It measures how well a college fulfills its mission. It is also used for accreditation, evaluation of the college president and for comparison with other SUNY schools.”

Institutional Research and Planning has a goal of getting as close to 1,000 responses as possible.

In the past, the survey was completed on paper in the classroom, but this year it will be done online. Ostrouch said students will complete the survey through an email sent from ACT, Inc.

Elizabeth Randazzo, a first-year adolescent education biology major, said she does not plan on taking the survey. She said she didn’t even remember getting an email about it.

“There are so many of them sent out that they all blur together,” Randazzo said. “I think [the Student Opinion Survey (SOS)] could measure the voice of the student body if more people took them seriously. The surveys are just an option for us, so I feel no need to take it unless it would affect me personally and they make it clear in the initial email that it would affect me.”

There will be incentive for students to complete the survey including two $50 gift cards to the campus bookstore, four prizes of  25 Hawk Dollars and the grand prize, a Kindle Fire. She said there will be a drawing for prizes at the end of the survey.

“With the exception of the Kindle Fire, the prizes were donated by CAS,” Ostrouch said.

Olivia Sweeney, a third-year sociology major, said she has recently taken a few surveys, but has not taken the SOS yet. She said the chance to win a Kindle Fire makes taking the survey more enticing.

Ostrouch said SUNY central uses the results in presentations and Institutional Research also makes presentations for the New Paltz campus. She said the campus administration also uses the results to implement improvements, should they be necessary.

“As a result of the last Student Opinion Survey in 2009, the Career Resource Center has moved to more accessible locations,” Ostrouch said. “The Student Health Center made changes to serve students better, [and] the Academic Advising Center added staff and moved to a more central location.”

The SOS will be open from March 27 to April 20.