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Loyola Extends Diversity and Inclusion Survey Due to Lack of Participation

Courtesy of Willis Towers WatsonLoyola extended its diversity survey until Nov. 30 because only 14 percent of students participated.

Loyola’s diversity survey — which was originally open from Oct. 31 to Nov.17 — is now extended until Nov. 30 after low student participation.

Only 14 percent of the 16,461 enrolled students responded to the Diversity and Inclusion Campus Climate Survey as of Nov. 27, according to the survey response statistics provided by Winifred Williams, chief diversity and inclusion officer (CDO) and vice president for human resources (CHRO).

“The level of response from each group [students, faculty and staff] is extremely low, especially among the student population,” Williams said in an email to The PHOENIX. “We hoped for at least 50 percent overall participation.”

About 39 percent of the 690 faculty and 59 percent of 976 staff completed the survey. In total, only 20 percent of the Loyola population — students, faculty and staff — completed the survey.

The goal of the survey is to help the university improve its diversity, inclusion and equity practices, according to the email announcement of the survey sent to the Loyola community Oct. 30, a day before the survey was launched.

The 50 percent participation was an “aspirational goal” and the university doesn’t plan to extend the survey beyond Nov. 30 “due to the need to move forward with tabulating the responses received,” according to Williams.

Diversity has long been a university-wide goal for Loyola — from Plan 2020’s goal to enroll a more diverse student body, student complaints about the low racial diversity numbers among students and faculty and the lack of diversity in Missouri Valley Conference sports teams.

“It is unfortunate that the student population has not readily embraced this opportunity to provide input given that our understanding was that students were anxious to voice their impressions and improvement feedback,” Williams said.

Williams said the reason she thinks students aren’t completing the survey is because they’re not attentive to the university’s communication mediums about the survey, including messages on the plasma TV screens, posters, classroom notifications and Loyola emails.

Since the survey opened, students received multiple daily email reminders to complete the survey.

Some students such as 20-year-old Yosseling Haro didn’t complete the survey because they didn’t see the multiple emails sent.

“I don’t think [there’s] enough details on [the emails] for students to check it,” Haro said. “It’s easy to forget about it.”

However, chemistry major Leslie Alaniz said the survey was personally important to her.

“I just wanted my voice to be heard … [diversity] is something I care about,” the 20-year-old said.

Though the survey was sent a month ago, Alaniz said timing could be the reason students might not participate even with the extension.

“[The university] sent out [the survey] so close to finals and students are busy at this time,” Alaniz said.

Still, Alaniz said the survey wasn’t difficult to take and it didn’t take her a lot of time to complete.

The survey asks for the participant to indicate whether they’re a student, faculty or staff. The first section of the survey asks participants to indicate whether they agree, tend to agree, are unsure (indicated with a question mark), tend to disagree or disagree to a series of statements about Loyola’s commitment to diversity and whether Loyola is a welcoming and equal opportunity environment.

The last portion of the survey asks students to check off on a list of topics the university should stop, start and continue doing to help the university foster a diverse and inclusive campus.

Students also have the option to comment in a provided dialogue box, and enter their name and email address to join the offered incentives — such as pizza parties and gift cards — for survey completion.

The survey results are still scheduled to be available in January 2018, according to Williams.

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Sajedah Al-khzaleh is a transfer junior from the southside of Chicago, and one of the assistant news editors for the PHOENIX for the fall of 2017. She previously attended Harold Washington College where she was news editor. Her dream is to bring diversity in the the media. Besides reporting, she loves writing and performing slam poetry.