PO Students Trustee Survey Investigate 5C Resource Use

In preparation for the Pomona College annual Student-Trustee Retreat on Sept. 30, a survey was emailed to Pomona students to learn about their interactions with the other Claremont Colleges. According to Dean of Students Miriam Feldblum, this year’s retreat and survey focused on exploring cross-college student interactions at the 5Cs.

The topic of the survey was chosen in spring 2016 by current and incoming Associated Students of Pomona College (ASPC) members, trustees, and the Dean of Students Office.

In previous years, several resource focus surveys were administered to understand how students use different resources offered across the campuses, but Feldblum said none of the previous reports provided information that was as comprehensive as the results from this year's survey.

“It’s really important for us to understand where are some areas in which students are or are not participating,” Feldblum said, adding that it would also be meaningful to find out which 5C institutions students interacted with the most.

The survey allows students to have input on 5C policies, services, and resources. The Student Affairs Committee will use the results as a theme to look into and ASPC will put it on their agenda, wrote Christina Tong, President of ASPC, in an email to TSL.

“We attempted to choose questions that would accurately gauge the impacts of a broad spectrum of 5C policies, programs, and resources,” Tong wrote.

According to the survey results, “The three most impactful cross-campus policies are alcohol, registration, and Title IX (gender discrimination and sexual assault) policies.”

In addition, the library was the most used resource, as only 2% of respondents reported not having ever used it. “The three most-used TCC resources were the Honnold-Mudd Library, student clubs and organizations, and Student Health Services,” reported the survey.

An issue that the survey ran into was that students were confused over which schools offered which resources. Students misidentified many 1C resources as 5C or 7C resources, said Feldblum.

The survey summary said the misidentified resources included the Asian American Resource Center and Asian American Mentor Program, the Outdoor Education Center, Draper Center, the Writing Center, and the Sustainability Integration Office.

For example, the Asian American Resource Center is Pomona-only, but hosts the Asian American Advisory Board, which is a 7C resource. Additionally, some programs such as the Outdoor Education Center are Pomona-only because they are only funded by Pomona College, but they do outreach and work with the other Claremont Colleges, a relationship that creates confusion, said Feldblum.

Tong wrote that participants were self-selected Pomona students who responded to the survey. She did not think that the other colleges in the consortium had conducted similar surveys.

The survey included demographic questions as well as the questions about the use of 5C resources. There were only 140 respondents to the survey, and in it, women were overrepresented, said Feldblum. However, the survey was fairly representative in other ways, such as reflecting the proportion of students who receive financial aid.

Feldblum said that the survey might not have been very statistically significant considering the low number of participants, and she thought it would have been preferable to have about a quarter of the student body respond. Still, the survey results were presented at the Student Trustee retreat, and they may be used for outreach throughout the rest of the year, wrote Tong.