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Results Of Jack Florey's Unofficial UA Survey

Without a lengthy prologue, a survey of East Campus residents was conducted recently by one Jack Florey with some small help from myself and a few other residents of the Fifth East hallway of East Campus. This survey concerned students' opinions of the Undergraduate Association and how well it represents them. Approximately 400 surveys were distributed, one to each resident of East Campus, and 56 were returned. This isn't a terribly high response rate, but it is high enough to make the results interesting, and it is much higher than the UA's housing survey.

There were a total of five questions on the survey.

1. Have you ever heard of the UA?

There were 54 "yes" responses and 2 "no" responses.

2. Do you know what "UA stands for (literally)?

There were 48 "yes" responses and 8 "no" responses. One of the "no" responses included several guesses:

"Undermining Advantagists? Underworld Angst? Unduly Annoying? Uni-Axial? Unit Angle? Undercover Agents? Useless Abomination? Useless Administration? Ulcer Aggravators?"

3. Do you know who your UA representative is?

There were 5 "yes" responses and 51 "no" responses.

4. On a scale of 1 to 7 (7 being the best), how well do you think the UA represents you and your interests?

There were 29 answers of "1," 12 of "2," 8 of "3," and one "5." The rest had either marked "N/A" or nothing at all, indicating its non-applicability.

5. Are there any comments you would like to make about the UA? Or, more to the point, what are they?

A sampling of the responses follows:

"I think that the principal people in the UA have some sort of `club.' I have friends who have quit the UA because of certain figures there." "The UA is more clueless than the average frosh." "Mostly irrelevant." "What do they do? Besides make work for themselves, that is!" "They think they have more than they really do." "The only things I hear about the UA is when it is embroiled in controversy."

"Who cares?" "What does it do?" "What do they do besides control FinBoard?" "I have very little knowledge about what they do or are." "They fight and spend far more money on each individual in the UA than on important clubs (such as the MIT Debate Team who rely on their funding). Moreover, they are elitist and not receptive to ideas from people who don't live in the office 24 hours a day."

"No, I don't care. Be glad I took the time to even write this." "It does not represent the interests of all the people at MIT but [instead represents only] their own." "Disorganized and disillusioned." "Pointless."

"I like the shuttles-- Registration Day, airport, and A Safe Ride. More please." "They are the people who hang out in the UA offices all the time." "I don't know exactly what they do. What are they here for?"

"The UA is pretty silly -- having examined their budget, I'm not sure what's going on there (several thousand dollars on phone calls). The UA exists only to give students the feeling that the administration cares what they think. They're a joke." "I don't feel like they represent me at all. I think they are all just a bunch of useless resume padders."

Paul Butkiewicz '94