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Campus-wide Inclusion Survey underway

Campus-wide Inclusion Survey underway


Members of the SUNY Cortland campus community can earn a chance to win an iPad or a SUNY Cortland Bookstore gift card, simply by taking a survey about how well the university includes them in campus life in light of their individual needs and differences.

Email is the only way that campus community members can take the survey.

The anonymous, short survey was emailed for the first time to faculty and staff on Monday, but due to technical difficulties that have been addressed, did not reach the students until two days later, on the morning of Nov. 6. 

The survey takes about 15 minutes to complete, after which all respondents will have their name separately entered in a drawing for prizes that include two iPads and 80 SUNY Cortland Bookstore gift cards for $25.

But there’s a lot more to be gained by filling out the Inclusion Survey than prizes.

Results will be shared with the university community and used to plan improvements in the way SUNY Cortland approaches diversity and creates a more ideal environment for excellence in academics, professional development and personal fulfillment.

The survey focuses on four major themes: race; gender, gender expression or sexual orientation; disability; and religion and spirituality.

If, for some reason, members of the SUNY Cortland community overlook the survey in their email, there will be plenty of reminders on campus.

Participants will find many free giveaways at temporary tables in public areas around campus where volunteers will have laptops from which passersby can sign in to their campus email account and fill out the survey right there.

Staffed by members of the Campus Climate for Diversity Committee, the tables will be set up during busy times in Neubig Hall lobby from Nov. 13 to 15; and the Old Main Dragon’s Den lobby the week of Nov. 18.

As the survey proceeds, there  also will be follow-up email reminders as well as notices on electronic and paper posters around campus as the committee strives to encourage as many people as possible to participate in the official, institutional survey. The committee also plans outreach to get members of student clubs and organizations to participate.

SUNY Cortland last looked at how well the campus provides a setting for diversity and accommodation of underrepresented groups with a full Campus Climate Survey in 2005.

Work on this assessment began last spring, when the committee conducted a series of focus groups to ask students, faculty and staff to express their opinions about their quality of life on campus. That work helped guide them through the summer and the early fall, as the committee developed the survey.

How students, faculty and staff feel they are being treated by others is key to their success, whether in class, the workplace or in their personal lives.

SUNY Cortland is committed to advancing diversity and inclusion in higher education. Building on previously gathered data, historical documents and the university’s extensive efforts thus far, a comprehensive climate assessment will provide the campus with research-based and comprehensive findings. These will guide the development of strategic initiatives and action planning to build on institutional successes and address institutional inclusivity challenges.

For more information, contact James Felton III, chief diversity officer, or another member of the Campus Climate on Diversity Committee: Michael Baker, assistant director of residential life for technology and marketing; Stephen Cunningham, director of institutional research and assessment; Imani Hinckson, student volunteer; Jeffrey Jackson, instructor of English; Yomee Lee, professor of kinesiology and Africana studies; Christopher Ortega, assistant professor of communication and media studies and Africana studies; Amy Russell, professional tutor, The Learning Center; Ronnie Silver ’67, SUNY Cortland Alumni Association liaison; Jennifer Wilson, associate director of communications; Melanie Woodward, associate director of human resources and affirmative action officer; and Jeremy Zhe-Heimerman, assistant director of disability resources, Disability Resources Office.