The Results Are In!

The OSU-Cascades Office of Student Life conducted a voluntary survey of students between Wednesday, January 5 and Wednesday, January 20, yielding a total of 210 responses (17% of the entire OSU-Cascades student population). The results of this survey are both summarized and listed in detail below for the OSU-Cascades campus community and the general public.

This survey included up to 77 questions focusing on a variety of topics, including campus programming, recreation, clubs, communication, student government, and overall campus climate. The data collected from this survey was analyzed by both students and staff to better inform student government initiatives, provide feedback on programming and recreation, and draw conclusions on OSU-Cascades student experiences.

Given the number of responses to this survey, we can cautiously assume that results yielded from this survey can be extrapolated to the entire student population. It is important to note that this survey was voluntary, so the results reflect individuals willing to participate. Furthermore, it is important to note the sample size of individual questions may vary and, therefore, results may not be statistically significant to be extrapolated to the entire student population.

Key Summary Statistics

The Student Life Survey was conducted by email to all 1263 students eligible to register at OSU-Cascades during winter term 2021 over a two-week period and was voluntarily completed by 17% of the total student body. Of the students who completed the survey:

  • 22% lived on campus
  • 78% lived off campus
  • 11% identified as student parents
  • 4% identified as veterans
  • 86% identified as undergraduates
  • 14% identified as graduate students
  • 41% of students who attended welcome week during fall 2020 completed the survey

First Year Experience

Almost 9 out of 10 survey respondents who attended Welcome Week rated it as good to excellent. Favorite welcome week activities include lunch & lawn games, group crafts, secret tradition, afternoon outings, and the team scavenger hunt competition. It should be noted that the faculty and staff luncheon and the First Year & Faculty Fall Banquet, two favorite events held last year, were not held in Fall 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions for events on campus.

Events and Programming

Top-rated campus activities include outdoor recreation, health and well-being, art, career development workshops, and social justice events. Top-rated event types are any that offer free food, concerts, performances, outings/trips, training/speakers, fairs, and festivals. The survey responses indicate that one-third of students have attended at least one virtual event this year, and 85% rated campus events this fall as good to excellent.

All students reported a preference for events to occur in the afternoons and evenings. Commuter students preferred events to occur on weekends. Three-quarters of graduate students surveyed listed hosting grad events as their top priority along with financial assistance and funding for conferences & workshops/networking opportunities.

Campus Recreation

65% of survey respondents stated that they planned to participate in ingroup outdoor recreation activities at OSU-Cascades. Top-rated outdoor group recreation interests:

  • hiking
  • camping
  • skiing/snowboarding
  • backpacking
  • stand-up paddle boarding
  • walking in the park

Top rated student outing values included enjoying nature, relieving stress, and trying something new.

  • 50% of survey respondents stated an interest inintramural/competitive sportswith skiing/snowboarding, rock climbing, and volleyball listed as the top three.
  • 78% of students would like to see weekend sports events and 60% would like to see sport events offered during evenings
  • 17% of survey respondents reported using thefitness center1-2 times/week. Most popular times of fitness center use reported are 6:00am to 10:00am and 4:00pm to 8:00pm during the week.

Sustainability

Seven out of ten survey respondents would support student fees funding campus sustainability initiatives.

Communication

Four-fifths of survey respondents reported that email newsletters are the best way to communicate with them about upcoming events, announcements, and resources. Social media and word of mouth were ranked second and third. 25% of students use CampusGroups. The most popular CampusGroups service is the events calendar.

Clubs

This fall, a quarter of survey respondents reported being a member of a club or sports club on campus. Students overwhelmingly reported a desire to see clubs hold more on-campus events.

Student Government

Over two-thirds of students felt represented by the student government. 70% did not feel informed about what their student fees were used for at OSU-Cascades. While 9% of students reported not having consistent access to affordable food, two-thirds of students reported food assistance as the highest need for students, followed by housing subsidy and campus development funding. Additional findings:

  • 41% reported having experienced difficulty finding affordable housing and 6% of students who reported this difficulty also reported having couch-surfed as a result
  • 87% of veteran students reported that they would use a Veterans Center on campus.
  • 47% of student parents reported having access to affordable childcare.
  • 57% of student parents surveyed said they would use on-campus childcare, with 75% of them preferring a drop-in childcare service (no sole preference for pre-school).
  • 82% of students reported consistent access to affordable healthcare
  • 87% of students reported consistent access to affordable internet
  • 95% of students reported consistent access to affordable transportation

Student Safety Perception on Campus

85% of students reported feeling extremely or somewhat safe on campus during a covid-year. The average response was 4.16 out of a scale of 1-5 (5=extremely safe).

Quality of Education & Overall College Experience

Respondents were asked to respond to several questions comparing their experience at OSU-Cascades during fall term 2020 with their experience at OSU-Cascades during a non-COVID-19 year. During fall 2020, a COVID-19 year:

  • 69% of students felt they were receiving a good to excellent quality education and 29% felt the quality of their education rating was fair to poor.
  • 50% of survey respondents reported experiencing a good to excellent overall college experience, 45% rated their experience as fair to poor.

The student life survey data responses reflect that students at OSU-Cascades show a high collective interest in outdoor recreation, health, and well-being, creative pursuits, social justice and diversity, civic engagement, and crave an interpersonal connection during their college experience –specifically in-person with the ability to bring a family member or friend to events. Student satisfaction by survey respondents with fall 2020 campus events, activities, and student communication rated above average. Seven out of ten students surveyed felt they were receiving a good to an excellent education at OSU-Cascades during a Covid-19 year. A recent December 2020 Gallop Poll (insidehighered.com) found that“dissatisfaction was highest among students whom the pandemic ‘forced online’ when under normal circumstances they would take all in-person classes.”The overall impact of reduced in-person services, classes, activities, and events combined with zoom fatigue, health concerns, financial stress, and lack of resources during a COVID-19 year on our students’ overall college experience is reflected at OSU-Cascades, with 45% of students surveyed rating their overall college experience at fair to poor and 50% of survey respondents rating their overall college experience as good to excellent at OSU-Cascades.

Questions

Have further questions? Please contact the Office of Student Life at studentlife@osucascades.edu or (541) 322-3143