UW-Madison reveals results from school-wide survey on student life

UW-Madison revealed the results of a campus climate survey the university administered in the fall of 2016.  The purpose of the survey was to understand the UW-Madison experience for students of all backgrounds. 

This is the first survey the institution has put forth that allowed undergraduate, graduate, professional and non-degree-seeking students to respond. 8,652 students (21 percent of the student population) responded, which beat the university's goal of a 20 percent response rate.

The survey reveals that overall, 81 percent of students felt welcome on campus. However, only 65 percent of students of color and 50 percent of trans/nonbinary students felt so. Furthermore, results show white and politically conservative students were more likely to feel respected and welcome than others and Muslim and Buddhist students reported a less positive campus experience. 

Patrick Sims, the Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer of UW-Madison, was involved in the process of creating this survey. 

"It's hard, though, to say 'X-person needs to think this way' because that flies in the face of the notion of academic freedom of free speech," Sims said.

However, nearly three out of four students reported it is very important that UW-Madison has a strong commitment to diversity.

"Students really favor and value critical engagement around diversity and inclusion," Sims said. "So that's a key piece of an element to their academic success."

Sims says the university plans on re-conducting the survey in four to five years. You can see the full report here


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