Letter to the Community: The spring ASSU survey

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Dear Stanford community, 

We as your current ASSU Executive leadership want to update you on the survey that was administered at the end of winter quarter to solicit feedback on the determining factors for your on-/off-campus living and enrollment decisions for spring quarter. Though similar in certain respects to the Axess Quarterly Check-In Hold Survey in its focus on enrollment and living status, our survey also invited your comments through providing textboxes to elaborate on your selected answers. In advance of juniors, seniors and students with special circumstances living on campus this spring, we also included questions to gauge your level of familiarity with various aspects of Stanford’s spring COVID-19 Response. After a survey period of one month, we received 260 complete responses (325 total), with a wave of 65 new responses after our most recent all-campus email on Sunday, April 11. 

An important disclaimer about our results is that the low sample size means that we cannot draw any substantive conclusions, as 325 data points hardly represent the full range of Stanford student experiences during the remote year. At the same time, 325 responses can help us better understand the concerns of the student body, especially during a year when the majority of the student body is virtual, thus making connections more difficult. We are grateful to the 325 students who took time to engage with the ASSU and have taken note of themes that arise across multiple responses.

The survey is skewed toward juniors and seniors, who constitute 43% of all responses, and underrepresents our graduate student population as well as students on leaves of absence or gap years. We recognize that our stated emphasis on gathering feedback, questions, comments and concerns in advance of the return to campus likely contributed to the over-representation of students enrolled full-time or living on campus this quarter. We saw an increase in the number of graduate student responses in this past week since promoting it in our recent all-campus email, but the overall data is undergraduate-focused. 

General Takeaways 

To respect confidentiality, we have chosen not to include more detailed comments from the survey and instead will rely on high-level visualizations. The spring 2021 ASSU COVID-19 Response survey received 325 responses (as of April 17) distributed across the academic cohorts as follows: 

The Spring 2021 ASSU COVID-19 Response survey received 325 responses(as of April 17th) distributed across the academic cohorts as follows: 55 Frosh (1st year), 51 Sophomore (2nd year), 75 Junior (3rd year), 68 Senior (4th year), 1 Masters (>= 5th year), 68 Graduate Student, and 1 Other.
  • One out of two survey respondents planned on living on-campus this quarter 
  • 84% indicated that they are full-time enrolled for spring quarter; 6% are taking a flex-term; 9% taking a Leave of Absence and one student taking a gap year before their freshman year 
  • Academics, Mental Health & Wellbeing and Social Life were the top three determining factors among surveyed students for on-/off-campus living decisions 
  • Covid-19 Safety and Regulations, Mental Health & Wellness and Affordability were the top three ASSU issue areas selected as relevant to student spring quarter plans 
  • On average, students expressed a moderate to low level of confidence (6/10) in their knowledge of the Campus Compact, Stanford COVID-19 Guidelines, Santa Clara County Guidelines, Stanford Campus COVID-19 Testing Protocols, Stanford Health Check and Households, and a similar confidence level (5/10) for familiarity with Campus Safe Zones

We thank all of you who completed the survey and especially those of you who took the time to comment on your particular considerations for campus living and enrollment. You can review more comprehensive data visualizations for the ASSU spring survey results here. While some students indicated interest in a spring COVID-19 webinar or town hall in the survey, the ASSU and selected Office of the Vice Provost for Student Affairs (VPSA) panelists decided to cancel the town halls scheduled for this Wednesday (4/14) and Thursday (4/15) due to a low anticipated turnout. In light of the cancellation, the ASSU Spring survey will remain open for students who wish to let us know about how Stanford’s COVID-19 response informs their academic and living situations.

With love,

Vianna Vo, ASSU Executive President
Chris Middleton, ASSU Executive Vice President
Jianna So, ASSU Executive Chief of Staff

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