From students to Senate: Osprey Voice survey represents student opinions

Jordan Bebout

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Walking through campus, you might see Student Government members in polo shirts, chasing down students and asking them to take a survey. It may seem annoying, but these iPad-wielding individuals are trying to make campus a better place.

Every three weeks members of SG ask for student opinions on a variety of topics, such as bus routes or places to eat on campus, and the results are used to create legislation. The most recent Osprey Voice survey had 886 respondents and contained questions about shuttle routes, shuttle wait times and new shuttle locations.

The University and Student Affairs (USA) Committee (part of the Legislative Branch) along with various members of SG work together to write, edit and format survey questions. Each question is discussed and approved in Senate before the survey is given to students.

Some questions focus on student awareness of different services, while others are action-based (e.g. “What kind of renovations would you like to see in the Back Room of the Boathouse?”)

The chair of the USA committee, Ania Cajuste, is in charge of collecting and drafting the questions, as well as overseeing the survey process.

“We can’t represent the students properly if they don’t tell us what they want,” Cajuste said.

Typically, the surveys have an open text box at the end where students can write complaints such as “wait times for busses are too long” or recommendations like “I think we should buy more busses.”

Once a semester, a round table or town hall is held to receive feedback from the student body and allow students to “get to know” their student leaders. The next round table survey event is Nov. 2-3 and will focus on how aware students are of services offered at the counseling center. It will be from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. in Osprey Plaza.

Osprey Voice surveys aren’t the only way to share your ideas on how to improve UNF. There is a “student remarks” section at the beginning of every senate meeting (here’s the schedule) to allow anyone to ask questions, voice concerns and offer a different perspective.

Students who are not members of Student Government can submit their own Osprey Voice questions by filling out a suggestion form and bringing it to the SG office.

“You have options to have your voice heard,” said Cajuste. “This is just one of them.”

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