Northern Illinois University

Northern Today

Jarvis Purnell
Jarvis Purnell

 

Student Association president encourages
classmates to participate in campus survey

February 11, 2008

by Mark McGowan

The online survey of the NIU campus experience begins today, and Student Association President Jarvis Purnell is urging his classmates to take part with “honest” answers.

Part of the Great Journeys strategic planning process, the survey will help NIU administrators learn what students, faculty and staff think of the place where they live, learn and work. Their goal is to create the most positive experience for everyone who has chosen NIU for an education.

Conducted by Noel-Levitz, the survey continues through Feb. 24. It only requires about 20 minutes to complete.

“It’s not going to take that much time out of our days, and it can’t do anything but benefit the campus,” Purnell said. “It will be good for our university administrators to really get a gauge on how students feel on our campus. That information is necessary to know what types of change – if any change – needs to be implemented.”

Everyone, including undergraduates, graduate students, faculty and staff, should find an e-mail with a direct link to the appropriate online survey.

Respondents are asked to provide their level of interest and their level of satisfaction regarding nearly 100 statements about campus, covering everything from academics, financial aid and library resources to campus safety, parking spaces and the food available in residence hall cafeterias.

Graduate and non-traditional students see many of the statements geared to their unique situation, including the convenience of courses and advising services.

Students should “really take it seriously,” Purnell said.

“A lot of times, students will get opportunities like this, and sometimes might not take it seriously or ignore it. But if you take the time, you can do things for the university past your tenure here. You can do things for incoming students or students who transfer here,” he said.

“I hope that the students who do take the survey answer honestly and holistically so we can get a perception of what the students as a whole feel,” he added. “The administration’s actions in past situations have been just; I hope they take the information and not only implement some change but get students to actively participate in that change.”

Faculty and staff will answer with their perceptions of how students regard the campus experience. This will provide a clear picture of where gaps exist between the ratings of those who provide the services and those who receive them.

Staff without computers will have the opportunity to complete the survey in an NIU computer lab. Stevens Annex Room 122 is reserved for the survey from 8 to 10 a.m. and from 4 to 6 p.m. today through Friday, Feb. 15, and from Monday, Feb. 18 through Feb. 22. The lab seats 33.

NIU will publish the results in the fall. For more information, call (815) 753-0816.