The Undergraduate Government of Boston College presented the results of its student body survey on Sunday. The organization created the survey to gain a better understanding of students’ perceptions of UGBC and gauge what campus issues need the most attention.
The survey indicates that a majority of students believe that UGBC is doing a good job of addressing issues of race and gender on campus. The survey received 1,315 responses, or 14.5 percent of the undergraduate population. The overall results of the survey reflected a generally positive view of UGBC from the student body. The data indicate that students believe that UGBC is moving in the right direction on pertinent issues such as those of race and gender on campus.
This is a commendable response rate, and it is laudable that UGBC is being perceived as a productive organization. Moving forward, it is important for UGBC to find ways to connect with undergraduates at the University who may not have responded to the survey.
UGBC also offered to hold individual interviews with students in the survey. This is a constructive way for the organization to better understand the concerns and desires of students, and is a practice they should continue in the future. Exploring new ways to increase attendance at UGBC town hall meetings is another way in which the institution could help promote student involvement with the organization.
UGBC should try new avenues for communicating and promoting initiatives like the survey. Including a link to the survey at the top of its weekly newsletter allowed the questionnaire to reach students who most likely already care about or are involved with UGBC. If it had wanted the largest possible reach, the organization should have sent standalone email reminders about the survey, especially because the survey has been open for a number of months. An extra email or two from UGBC would most likely not be considered superfluous.
The class Facebook pages are a direct way to interact with nearly every member of the student body. UGBC should be more active in posting in the groups in order to take advantage of this valuable and free resource. Posting election updates and reminders about events such as candidate debates could serve as a way to improve student participation in UGBC elections as well. If UGBC wants to gauge an accurate representation of the student body on these issues, it must provide as many opportunities as possible for students to respond.
One of the issues revealed by the results of the survey was that students are generally unaware of the resources offered by UGBC. This should indicate to the organization that it needs new strategies for promoting the work that it does in the future. If UGBC is to truly be an effective and representative organization that improves the lives of students at BC, then it needs to more actively promote itself and its actions.
It is notable that 35 percent of responders answered “neutral,” while 29 percent answered “disagree” or “strongly disagree,” that UGBC is effectively addressing disability issues on campus. BC was cited by a state agency in May of last year for disability discrimination, and though UGBC advocates for students with disabilities through its Council for Students with Disabilities, it evidently could do a better job of making students aware of the services available to them concerning this pertinent issue.
Featured Image by Amelie Trieu / Heights Editor