SLU residents to participate in survey; prizes awarded

Students currently living on campus will soon have the opportunity to take part in a housing survey that will enable them to voice their opinions about residence halls, apartments and life on campus.

The survey is conducted by the Association of College and University Housing Offices International (ACUHO-I) in cooperation with the Educational Benchmarking Institution (EBI), a statistical analysis company that does the number crunching once the surveys are returned.

The Department of Housing and Residence Life is presenting the survey, which is used by colleges and universities across the nation.

Director of Housing Argyle Wade said that the survey will cost the department thousands of dollars and will result in approximately three large binders worth of information based on the comments of students who complete the survey.

“It will tell us whether to put institutional money toward staff or residence halls,” said Wade. By looking at the statistics, Saint Louis University will be able to see problem areas, what needs major improvement and what seems to be working well. The results of the survey will also provide information and direction for focus groups.

It will also allow SLU to see how it compares to schools nationwide, as well as a more specific comparison to five schools chosen by the University that are similar to SLU, such as Georgetown University or Marquette University, Wade said.

Previous surveys did not allow for an equal comparison to other schools. “Since we’re striving to be the best, we have to compare ourselves to the best,” Wade said.

The fill-in-the-bubble survey asks questions such as: how satisfied students are with their Resident Advisor, satisfaction with hall activities, how living on campus has enhanced aspects of their lives and their general opinion of the residence hall environment, as well as various detailed questions about the overall experience at the university.

The anonymous survey will probably be distributed in the middle of April, with incentives for students who participate in the survey, Wade said. Prizes could range from pizza parties for residence hall floors with the highest return to computers, TVs and DVD players. Everyone who fills out the survey will likely receive something like a candy bar, Wade said.

The results of the survey, which should come in over the summer, will be available to students. The results will be used by Housing and Residence Life as well as the Student Government Association’s Residential Concerns Committee.