Voice your opinions on diversity and inclusion with the annual Campus Climate Survey

Kayla Mutchler, Editor in Chief

Since 2019, the University of New Haven has annually released the Campus Climate Survey, an opportunity for students, faculty, staff and administrators to voice their opinions on diversity and inclusion on campus. The survey opened on Feb. 1 and is available until March 12.

The survey features a variety of questions in regard to diversity and inclusion, where participants can rate answers based on how they feel at the university. There were also sections where participants could type their own responses or leave further comments based on previous answers. The survey also provided a terms and conditions list, which participants could refer to throughout.

In an email to the campus community, Danielle Cooper, director of research at the Tow Youth Justice Institute and associate professor in the department of criminal justice, described the purpose of the survey. The results will be used to build “a supportive environment for student learning—both inside and outside of the classroom—through the implementation of educational programs, policies and procedures.”

Cooper said, “The University of New Haven seeks to build and promote a supportive campus community where all individuals are treated with respect and have the opportunity to learn from others in our increasingly global society.”

In a statement to the Charger Bulletin, Cooper said that the goal is, once the survey is closed, to review the information over the summer, then changes would occur in the fall of 2021. However, with the pandemic, it is possible that the timing could change.

To create change, offices and organizations will review the results and decide what actions to take. The Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA) Council will also provide recommendations for policies based on the responses.

People wishing to partake in the survey must be at least 18 years of age or older. All participants are entered into a raffle for a chance to win several incentives, such as $50 Amazon gift cards, a one-month-long reserved parking spot on campus, and early selection for housing.

Cooper also said that there were many university students and employees who worked together to review the survey for the past few months. She thanked them and vice president for diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer Lorenzo Boyd, and dean of students Ophelie Rowe-Allen, specifically, who were “attentive and supportive to the requests of students and employees.”
Senior criminal justice major Mikaela Spennicchia said the survey can improve the university environment “by listening to what the students want and make change according to the populations who feel unheard and things the university needs to do better.”

However, Spennicchia also said that there are other issues outside of diversity and inclusion, such as yearly housing process issues, that she wishes would be addressed in the survey.
University community members can check their university email to participate, where they will find a personalized survey link and details about the survey.