In previous years, members of the Mercyhurst Student Government have been known to set up tables and offer surveys to students for small rewards – tee shirts, goodie bags, sunglasses, and so forth.
These tables could be found in front of the Grotto Commons, in the Student Union, and other high-traffic areas across campus.
The surveys themselves were about a range of topics important to students, from the variability of grading scales across and within departments at the University to the dining options offered throughout campus.
MSG presents the results of these surveys to the administrative body to inspire improvements in many facets of the school.
This year, however, setting up a table with enticing goodies was impossible. As a result, MSG had to venture off the beaten path and release the survey digitally.
Digital surveys present many challenges. First off, there is no incentive for students to sit down and answer the questions, so even if everyone receives the link to the survey in some manner – be it via email, on the Hub page, or through Teams – there is no guarantee that they will actually fill it out.
Secondly, it is more difficult to control whether or not students receive the survey. Some people do not regularly check their email or Teams pages, for example, so even if they get the link numerous times over, they may not even see it or open it in the first place.
Even so, Mercyhurst’s Student Government has risen to the challenge and hopes that the results will speak for themselves.
This semester, the survey question focused on the Hammermill Library.
“I had the idea for conducting a survey about the Hammermill Library and its services because we have not surveyed the student body on that topic for at least the time that I have been a part of MSG,” said MSG Vice President Sarah Klein. “Last year we were going to conduct a survey on that topic, but then COVID threw a wrench in our plans.”
This time the library survey is able to run strong, including questions such as: “if accommodations were made for allergies, would you be interested in seeing the library adopt a cat for stress relief?”, “What types of books would you want to see more of?” and “do you use the Inter Library Loan system?”.
Hopefully, the survey will have a strong yield and the library staff will have a sense of the changes they should opt to make for next semester.
“The MSG surveys are always very important because they are often one of the few ways that the University can receive feedback from a wide range of students,” said Klein. “This particular survey will likely help library administrators see what changes should be made to make the library as useful to the student body as possible.”
The only way to inspire change to is allow voices to be heard, and this is exactly what MSG’s surveys achieve.
The Hammermill Library survey is open from April 12 – April 30, so if you haven’t already, be sure to take the survey on the Hub!