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Group reviews ImproveND survey

Molly Madden | Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Council of Representatives (COR) was given a presentation about the results of the ImproveND survey and what the implications are for student government at its meeting last night. 
“This survey was really extensive about everything at Notre Dame,” student body president Catherine Soler said. “This is about what students want.”
Associate Vice President for Strategic Planning Erin Hoffman Harding said the ImproveND survey, administered to the student body in January, was different than previous surveys given to the student body.
“This survey was one big effort,” Hoffman Harding said. “We’ve never really done a comprehensive student services survey before this.”
The survey had 51 percent participation of the undergraduate students, which Hoffman Harding said “was really good considering the survey wasn’t mandatory.”
The results of the survey were examined in the context of gender, class year and College and focused on three main categories of academic services, extra and co-curricular activities and campus environment and services. 
Hoffman Harding said many of the resulting figures from the survey fit with the results of past services in regards to specific subjects and areas. But she said some of the results were “shocking.”
“We asked the question how much time an individual student spends on academic activities outside of class and there was a huge difference based on the College,” she said.
According to the results of the survey over 60 percent of Arts and Letters and Business students spend 15 hours a less on academic work outside of class. This is a huge contrast to the School of Architecture, where 80 percent of students said they spend 25 hours or more a week on academic work.
“The University officers weren’t very happy with these results,” Hoffman Harding said. “They want to make sure they’re serving the students in their academic endeavors.”
Soler said she was also surprised by the results.
“I’m pretty shocked especially being a Business major,” she said. “We do a lot of group projects and still over 60 percent say that they spend less than 15 hours a week studying.”
Hoffman Harding said the survey showed many students are upset by the lack of diversity on campus, something Hoffman Harding said has become a “high priority for the University.”
Hoffman Harding asked COR members to take in what the survey revealed and think of ways how student leaders can address the issues of concern.
“The one big question we have for you coming out of this is what do you student leaders think is important,” she said. “We did this for a reason. We want to better ourselves and make Notre Dame better for you.”