Poll on air quality: Students feel supported by faculty, but not so much by administration
Updated: Oct 10, 2020
The Collegian began a student survey to gather thoughts on Willamette’s response to diminished air quality in Salem at 2:00 p.m on Sept. 16. The survey was distributed on the Collegian’s website, in its weekly newsletter and across its social media channels. The Willamette email of each student respondent was collected and confirmed by the Collegian executive team, but shown to no one else. Invalid emails were excluded from survey results. The survey is confidential. Individually identifying responses have been excluded from the survey results. Survey questions are presented in this article in the order they were in the survey. Results were sorted from greatest to least amount of responses. The survey closed at 2:00 p.m. on Sept. 18 and drew 80 student responses.
Q: Should all classes be cancelled (including over Zoom) because of diminished air quality? (choose multiple)
50 percent of respondents (40 students) selected “No, as long as individual accommodations are made by the professor.”
42.5 percent (34 students) selected “Yes, until air quality goes back to normal.” 26.3 percent (21 students) selected “No, as long as all classes remain remote until air quality improves.”
11.7 percent (nine students) filled in an “other” response to the question, with seven of the responses expressing ranging support for cancelling all classes. Two other responses were unique and have been withheld to prevent identification.
Q: Do you feel supported by your professors during this time of diminished air quality?
55 percent of respondents (44 students) selected “Some of my professors have been accommodating.”
42.5 percent (34 students) selected “Yes, all of my professors have been accommodating.”
1.2 percent (one student) selected “My needs go unmet by professors.”
1.2 percent (one student) filled in an “other” response to the question, which is unique and being withheld to prevent identification.
Q: Have your professors reached out to your class to provide accommodations?
65 percent of respondents (52 students) selected “Some have.”
25 percent (20 students) selected “Yes.”
10 percent (eight students) selected “No.”
Q: Do you feel supported by WU administration procedures and communication surrounding Salem’s diminished air quality?
55 percent of respondents (44 students) selected “No.”
26.3 percent (21 students) selected “Somewhat.”
13.8 percent (11 students) selected “Yes.”
4.8 percent (4 students) filled in an “other” response to the question, all of which were a more specific “No,” with three stating that they have never felt supported by WU’s administration.
Q: Did you leave Salem due to diminished air quality?
63.7 percent of respondents (51 students) selected “No.”
16.3 percent (13 students) selected “Yes.”
11.3 percent (nine students) selected “Not applicable.”
8.4 percent (7 students) filled out an “other” response to the question, six of which stated that they had nowhere else to go and two said that they had considered it but decided against it.
Q: What additional accommodation, if any, do you think WU needs to provide that it is currently not? (optional)
There were 43 responses to this question. The responses have been sorted into categories and are not the exact words of any individual respondent. Each category is a statement that is true for all responses in that category. Responses that could not be sorted into a category were excluded from this list to prevent identification.
Leniency with classwork: 7
More information and clearer communication from admin: 7
Food delivery to the dorms: 6
Cancel or suspend all classes: 6
Improve air quality in the dorms: 5
Make all classes optional: 4
Provide masks to students: 4
Proactive outreach and support to students: 3
Improved policies surrounding student health and policy transparency: 3
None, WU’s admin are taking undue criticism: 2
Advanced notice on the status of in-person classes rather than day-to-day updates: 2
Student concerns need to be heard and taken seriously by WU’s admin: 2
Improved university healthcare for students: 2
Provide air purifiers for at-risk students: 2
42.5 percent of participants (34 people) were of the class of 2021.
27.5 percent of participants (22 people) were of the class of 2022.
21.3 percent of participants (17 people) were of the class of 2023.
8.8 percent of participants (7 people) were of the class of 2024.
Majors of the student respondents (this question was optional) to the survey were:
Politics, Policy, Law and Ethics (PPLE): 11
Environmental Science: 8
Public Health: 3
Civic Communication and Media (CCM): 2
Computer Science: 1
Exercise Science: 1
Japanese Studies: 1
Women’s and Gender Studies: 1