CSI Seeks to Better Campus Culture Through Survey

Future Endeavors and Initiatives of Campus Rely on Feedback

By Clifford Michel

CSI students in the campus center, sitting across from adverts left in the cafeteria (Photo Credit: Clifford Michel)

CSI students in the campus center, sitting across from adverts left in the cafeteria (Photo Credit: Clifford Michel)

The College of Staten Island has launched a month long push to better understand all aspects of life at CSI via a campus wide survey.

The goal of the “Campus Climate Survey”, according to CSI administrators, is to understand what the campus believes are successful initiatives, discover challenges facing members of the CSI community, and develop long term strategies to build on what is the most productive solution to the challenges the College faces.

CSI has thrown its full weight behind effectively conducting the campus climate survey. The College has placed promotional material throughout the entire campus and has offered some strong incentives for completing the survey.

The potential prizes include a $200 metro card, a year of free parking, and an iPad Mini2.

Vice President for Student and Enrollment Service Jennifer Borrero, who pioneered the effort, said that the survey is a finite way to address large and underlying concerns from the campus community.

“The Campus Climate Survey is an invaluable tool that will identify successful initiatives, uncover any challenges facing members of our community, and help formulate data driven decisions and initiatives to enhance the campus experience and inform the College’s next strategic plan,” Borrero told the Banner in a statement.

“By creating awareness of this important initiative, we are confident that all students, faculty and staff will join their voices together and ‘Be Heard’ to create the future of CSI,” the statement continued.

In a letter addressed to the entire campus community, CSI President William J. Fritz said that the aim of the survey is to improve campus culture and for CSI administrators to better understand what needs to be improved.

“A welcoming and inclusive campus climate is grounded in mutual respect, nurtured by dialogue, evidenced by a pattern of civil interaction, and is one of the foundations of our educational model,” Fritz wrote. “Creating and maintaining a community environment that respects individual needs, abilities, and potential is critically important.”

Advocacy groups on campus see the survey as a prime opportunity to have their political views shared with top CSI administrators.

“We should use it to expose the everyday forms of aggression and discrimination by race, gender, ability and other forms of oppression,” wrote CSI Professor Jay Arena in a note to the club he advises, Staten Island Against Racism and Police Brutality.

Borrero is a firm believer in data driven decision-making and says that the survey will provide insight into how to most effectively conduct change.

Borrero has spoken in the past about making decisions that are best for the student population, even if the methodology isn’t the most traditional way of going about things for the College.

“We challenge the directors and their staffs to really make assessments from a student centered and service delivery lens. Which means that you’re putting the students’ needs over institutional functions,” Borrero told the Banner in a November interview.

“And that can be a different way to think about how we go about doing our jobs,” Borrero continued. “We may have a process that works well administratively for the institution, but the students find it very complex, or difficult to access, or cumbersome.”

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