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Capturing campus climate

Posted 7:23 a.m. Monday, Feb. 15, 2021

The 2021 Campus Climate Survey will be available to students from Feb. 15 to March 29. The survey is intended to capture the university's strengths and weaknesses as it relates to campus climate, as well as ideas for change and improvement.

Survey to assess areas for improvement at UWL

UW-La Crosse students can make their voices heard through the 2021 Campus Climate Survey. 

The survey, which will be available to all undergraduate students beginning Feb. 15, is intended to give UWL leaders a clearer sense of the university’s strengths and weaknesses as it relates to campus climate, as well as ideas for change and improvement. 

A combination of multiple-choice and open-ended questions, the survey will measure UWL on a variety of topics — from inclusivity, to culture responsiveness, to how well it has handled COVID-19. It will ask students to share their perspectives and first-hand experiences, including how they have fared academically, financially and emotionally during the pandemic. 

“We have a history of providing these surveys to the campus community because we want to know what’s working and what isn’t,” notes Will Van Roosenbeek, director of LGBTQA Services at UWL. “If a student has had an experience they didn’t feel was good, or one they wish had a different solution, this is the time to share it without having to put their name to it. And if you love UWL and have only good things to say, that will be helpful, too. It’s helpful to know where we need growth but also where we’re doing well, because it’s important to celebrate those things.” 

Since 2000, UWL has distributed a Campus Climate Survey every four or five years. The most recent survey was in 2018. 

Dr. Dina Zavala, assistant vice chancellor for Diversity & Inclusion, says the survey offers valuable insights into how well UWL is fulfilling its mission and upholding its values. 

“When we go in and look at the finalized data, the results tell us if we’re honoring who we say we are, honoring our values,” she says. “We have a mission to be an inclusive campus, and we want to make sure that we’re doing that. The data doesn’t lie, and it allows us to see some pieces we can improve.” 

UWL has made significant changes in response to past Campus Climate Surveys, including the creation of the Campus Climate Office and the addition of a violence prevention specialist position. 

“In some ways, that second phase of analyzing the data is the most important part,” explains Barbara Stewart, vice chancellor for Diversity & Inclusion. “Will, Dina and I will look at the raw data and figure out the next steps we should take and how to bring them to light. We want people to know that their responses matter.” 

The survey will be open from Monday, Feb. 15, to Monday, March 29. The survey link will be emailed to all undergraduate students by the Higher Education Research Institute. 

Each student who completes the survey will be entered into a drawing, with a chance to win one of 120 $25 Amazon gift cards. 


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