Between Oct. 6 through Oct. 12, the Associated Students of California Lutheran University Government conducted a student voice survey in an attempt to gather the opinions of undergraduate students regarding on-campus issues.
“The reason for the survey is because a lot of senators were wondering if they should move forward with some of their projects like healthier snacks in the residence halls or guitars or musical equipment in the halls,” said sophomore Senator Cody Jones, who spearheaded the survey. “Another reason for the survey is because we kept hearing complaints, comments [and] concerns regarding a number of stuff, a lot of it being meal plans. As Senate, we wanted to get a numerical number so when we go to Res Life or Sodexo, we could have stats. You can’t really argue with stats on if there should be change.”
Sophomore Senator Daniel Lacey said the student survey was a way for ASCLUG to solidify what the needs of the students were and what they are most concerned about.
Incentives to make the student body excited about participating in the survey included a raffle with chances to win a bike or gift cards to Starbucks and gas cards.
“Our goal was to get 40 percent to 50 percent of the student population to participate and we got about 40 percent… Over 1,000 people participated so the results should be fairly strong evidence,” Jones said.
Junior Senator Nisha Kondrat stressed the importance of being involved and taking advantage of the chance to have an impact on school policies.
“Being involved with student government since middle school, I realize it’s really important to be involved and having students’ voices heard. That’s what ASCLUG is. This survey just goes out to prove how serious we are when having voices heard,” Kondrat said. “From the survey, we have more voices but it’s taking the voices and making them into tangible items, whether that is more parking spaces or a better meal plan or a microwave. Really, just being able to walk around campus and saying, ‘Look, students’ voices are actually heard here. This is what your Senate did for you.’”
“Based on the overwhelming number of responses regarding meal plans, regarding Ullman [Commons], regarding pricing and stuff like that, we are going to keep presenting the results since this is now a student need and concern,” Jones said.
Current projects for senate include healthier options in residence hall snack lounges and an attempt to get bikes on campus available for rentals.
“Regarding lighter stuff like musical equipment [rentals in the residence halls], bikes [rentals on campus] and healthier options [in the residence hall lounge], senators are going to move forward with their projects and figure out ways to connect with Res Life to make all of this happen,” Jones said. “We are now presenting the information to the departments that really need to hear it and the departments that have direct control over what the students want changed. And we’re going to keep following up.”
Lacey has begun presenting data to Sodexo and it appears they might be listening.
“My role as a second year senator is dealing with the on-campus dining experience issues because it’s not just meal plans that have been brought up… We wanted to confirm our ideas that, yes, people have an issue with meal plans, they have an issue with the walk-in price. They don’t have as much of an issue with variety. That was more neutral in terms of the results,” Lacey said.
Lacey has been working with Cal Lutheran and the Sodexo administration to make sure the needs of the student body are being addressed.
“Yes, we are listening… I have established that there is a problem, we need to address it and I am working with Tom Visvikis, Patricia Yahtzer and the Cal Lutheran community in terms of trying to fix this issue in a good timely manner,” Lacey said. “Long term, I hope to see issues to be resolved or at least things to be presented by the first of the year and see if we could find maybe something we could implement next semester or even next year.”
For full results of the student survey conducted by ASCLUG, email Cody Jones at [email protected]
Published November 5, 2014