3 mins read

USD Climate Survey to Assess Campus Life

     On Monday April 8, the University of South Dakota sent out the Skyfactor climate survey to gain feedback on students’ experiences and concerns regarding campus life. Multiple organizations and departments on campus utilize this survey to identify different concerns and issues taking place across campus amongst the student body.

     “The ability of USD to track responses over time is powerful in that it will help us to evaluate structural or programming changes that we might make,” said USD Assistant Provost Lisa Bonneau. “For example, USD would be able to use survey results to modify aspects of Title IX training, determine the success of activities provided through Student Services, and address student accessibility needs across campus. 

     The climate survey is administered nationally by universities every other spring semester, along with the Noel Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory. Both of these surveys are catered to gain students feedback on the university’s performance in a variety of campus and office services.

     Some of the main departments that utilize information provided by student feedback surveys as a way to implement new areas of development are the University Police Department, USD’s Title IX services as well as the Student Government Association (SGA). 

     “When we look at sexual assault prevention, interpersonal violence prevention and just any crime prevention in general, we at USD really believe in a more holistic approach,” said USD Police Chief Bryant Jackson. “I think that the more we can collaborate on sharing this type of information, is the best means to address some of those issues towards prevention education. Then looking at the campus climate survey and anytime we can get feedback from the community as a whole, I think it really helps bridge the gap between perception and then sometimes reality.”

     UPD, Title IX and SGA have all heavily focused efforts on sexual assault prevention on campus. 

     “Student feedback is critical to our process. Trust is number one when it comes to dealing with highly sensitive and personal information,” said USD Director of EEO and Title IX Coordinator Jean Merkle. “This year I have been prioritizing working with PAVE in disseminating information about what to do in a crisis, what/ where resources are available, and how to intervene in social settings.”

     As of April 11, 2024 the climate survey had received a total of 441 student responses, a response rate of 6.1%.

     “If we want to improve the university experience for students, we need to provide the opportunity for feedback in a systematic, reliable and measurable way,” said Lisa Bonneau. “The more student participation, the higher the quality of the results, and thus, the more likely we are able to make substantive changes across campus.”

     The survey officially closed on Friday, April 12th, making this the last Skyforce Climate Survey to be released until the spring of 2026.