On February 9, 2016, President Hiram Chodosh, Vice President for Academic Affairs & Dean of the Faculty Peter Uvin, and Acting Dean of Students Torrey Sun emailed the student body CMC’s Student Life and Campus Climate Survey. The email noted that the survey “will provide us with vitally important information as we evaluate and improve the CMC student experience with diversity and inclusion.” Survey questions included questions about CMC’s experiences and level of student agreement with statements pertaining to gender identity, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status, and more. This particular survey has been regularly administered since 2007 on a three-year cycle.
While the full survey results have not been released yet, the Forum gained access to preliminary results that highlight general trends. John Haller, Assistant Director of Institutional Research, noted that a full report of the survey results should be available around mid-May.
Of the 1,295 current CMC students invited to participate, only 486 students responded with a response rate of 37.5%. This rate is substantially lower than the 51% response rate in 2013, the previous time this survey was administered. Of the respondents, 55% percent were women and 45% were men and <1% stated “other.” The race/ethnicity sample is nearly proportionate to CMC’s student body makeup. Of the those that self-identified their race/ethnicity, the race/ethnicity breakdown was as follows: 21% Asian, 3% Black/African American, 7% Hispanic/Latino, 17% two or more races, <1% Pacific Islander, 1% declined to state, 48% White, and 2% other. 44% of respondents were on need-based financial aid. 4% of respondents noted that they had a disability.
Key observations of the survey results include that 80% of students feel that “there is tension related to ethnicity and race” on CMC’s campus. 24% remarked that they have “personally experienced discrimination” at CMC because of their ethnicity or race. This is up more than double from 2013, which was 10%.
Many questions were formatted along a 5-point scale rating scale (ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree). Some questions related to race and ethnicity resulted in more polarized responses, particularly among those who identified as not exclusively white. Of these respondents, a proportionate number agreed as those that disagreed. These responses towards either side of the spectrum — agree or disagree — resulted in a neutral response. Compared to 2013, there was generally less agreement with positive statements about CMC’s campus climate in 2016.
In regards to gender identity, only 56% of the student body believes that CMC students “treat other students fairly regardless of their gender identity”, a decrease from 71% in 2013. Women, students who are not exclusively white, and those who are not exclusively heterosexual are less likely to agree that faculty or students treat students fairly regardless of gender identity. 23% of respondents said that they have experienced discrimination at CMC based on their gender identity.
Only 35% of respondents said they were satisfied with ASCMC’s social activities; 34% were satisfied with ASCMC’s process for funding clubs and organization. 25% noted they were satisfied with ASCMC’s communication with the administration.
Other points of note include that 69% said they feel like they belong at CMC and 73% said that if they could choose their college over again, they would choose to attend CMC.
This year, there were two new items added to the survey to address socioeconomic status and disability status.