While sitting in my living room with a group of evacuated friends, we all received an email that the “Campus Climate” had come out. Being abroad last year, and not hearing about it when our university president initially started the task force, I was confused as to what this actually was. In the Fall of 2010, President Bravman charged a Task Force to research the climate of Bucknell University. The findings were expressed in a report that pointed out the most significant problems, examples from their findings, and recommendations.
Although I am not a Statistics major, I am quite certain that the data used to declare these findings are not statistically significant. The Task Force invited 336 students to represent the various “groups” on campus, but only 66 showed up for the focus groups and interviews. I use quotations on “groups” because the report lists them in an attempt to represent the entire school, but I would be interested to see what percentage of our school is involved in each of these groups and therefore see if it actually represents our school. I would also be interested to see the breakdown of how many of the 66 were there to represent each group and a breakdown of their diversity (ethnicity, major, hometown, extra curricular activites, etc.) These use of a voluntary attendance also creates a bias because it was not mandatory that they had to come. The report lightly addressed this issue, but I think it is important to note that perhaps people who did not have any complaints, did not feel the need to come.
Since the report’s debut, two forums have been held to allow the task force to express their motivation and findings, and to allow the students to express their opinions. One student expressed her dissatisfaction with the result of the report because she was one of the volunteers for the study and although all positive things were said in her focus group, not one of them made it into the report.
From my perspective, this report sure did a good job of pointing out problems and complaints of our university. One of the largest concerns addressed was the overwhelming presence of greek life on campus. In fact, the word “Greek” was used 126 times throughout the report. In my opinion, the report focused too much on this and not on other greater issues.
With that said, the report also brought up other problems with the university that truly need to be fixed. The sexual assault cases on campus are rising and need to be addressed, whether that be with a zero tolerance policy and/or stronger Transition to College courses.
Finally, we have out future. The future of our university lies with the view of our university by incoming students, parents, current students, and alumni. I am worried for the effect this will have on our Annual Fund, campus participation, and future enrollment. I hope that we can work swiftly to address these concerns and create a plan of action to address all of the problems addressed in our Campus Climate Report.