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Students walk around campus near Ortega Hall and Zimmerman Library in August 2022.

Division for Equity and Inclusion prepares to release campus climate survey

Beginning March 1 and ending on April 23, the Division for Equity and Inclusion at the University of New Mexico will release a student climate survey for students across UNM’s main campus, the School of Law and branch campuses, according to the DEI website

The goal of the research is to conduct climate surveys that represent the full diversity of the UNM community, according to Assata Zerai, principal investigator and vice president for the DEI.

Campus climate is generally defined as “current attitudes, behaviors and standard of faculty, staff, administrators and students concerning the level of respect for individual needs, abilities and potential,” according to professor Susan Rankin from Pennsylvania State University.

This is the first year of the student survey, but there are two surveys in total: one for faculty and staff and one for students. The staff and faculty survey was broken up into two different time windows. The staff survey was opened in January and will conclude on Feb. 28 and the faculty survey was open between November and December 2022.

The survey was originally designed by the University of Michigan, but some questions were developed specifically by Zerai and her research team in order to create a fuller picture of the campus experience. It will be administered electronically via an email link. Zerai wrote that the research team intends to administer the survey every four years in order to determine whether the campus climate and culture interventions were effective.

Research shows the increasing importance of institutional climate surveys to promote success in diversity and equity programming, and the campus climate, according to Zerai. Zerai also wrote that the research team intends to administer the survey every four years in order to determine whether the campus climate and culture interventions were effective.

“Campus-wide climate surveys can be effective tools because they provide data that can be important for future efforts to establish benchmarks for the improvement of campus climate,” Zerai wrote.

The first 500 students who complete the survey will receive a $10 gift card, according to the survey’s website.

Annya Loya is the news editor at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at news@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @annyaloya 

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