This week, the University Senate Student Affairs Committee released the 2015 Quality of Life Survey. At the last USenate plenary, the SAC discussed the populations most dissatisfied with Columbia, including students with disabilities, transgender/genderqueer students, and low-income students.
Now that the entire survey is available, we’re sharing some of the highlights. Of course, if you want more than the SparkNotes version, you can delve into all 85 pages of the report yourself.
(Note: All emphasis is our own.)
- PhD students were significantly more satisfied with funding than undergrad and grad students.
- In the academics section, students were least satisfied with their academic advisors. “Many shared that their advisors were irrelevant to their academic planning and overall academic experience. Others said their advisors weren’t knowledgeable about the specifics of their major, degree, or interest area, and thus could not advise them adequately.”
- There was a positive, linear trend between wealth and satisfaction with social life at Columbia.
- In response to questions about safety, the survey found “little significant difference among ethnicity groups, but many anecdotal responses spoke to Black, Latinx, and Muslim populations being unfairly targeted by Public Safety officers.”
- In terms of space availability and accessibility, students were least satisfied with the availability of study spaces, and most satisfied with the availability of outdoor space.
- No surprise, many respondents indicated “dissatisfaction with the administration’s handling of gender-based misconduct adjudication and prevention education (namely, the Sexual Respect and Community Citizenship Initiative).”
- Disabled students had twice as many (on average) days with mental health problems than non-disabled students (14.08 vs 7.02 respectively)
- “The transgender community is among the least satisfied with their overall Columbia experience. […] On a seven-point scale—1 being very dissatisfied and 7 being very satisfied—transgender students are approximately one full point less satisfied than their cisgendered peers.”
- “Transgender students argued that the primary—or only—LGBTQ administrative support was through Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS), which implied that the University saw transgender identity as a psychological issue.”
You can read all 85 pages of the Quality of Life Report below.