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R/O Survey Results Decided Activities for Current Week

By Ifung Lu
Associate News Editor

The results of a Residence and Orientation Week survey conducted last year aided in the planning of this year's R/O, said Associate Dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs Mary Z. Enterline.

The UAA administered the survey last year on Registration Day. It asked freshmen for their reactions to the various R/O week activities, such as the Academic Preview and City Days.

The survey "basically asked them [for some demographic information], to make sure it was a good sample, and it asked them to evaluate all the different programs and rate them [on a five point scale] between Very Worthwhile' and Not At All Worthwhile,' " Enterline said.

Students also had the option of answering "Did Not Participate."

Poor ratings kill some activities

The survey results helped R/O coordinators decide which activities to continue. For example, the "Breakfast with Professors" was eliminated due to low ratings, according to Enterline. The Academic Preview was also eliminated due to lack of interest.

In addition, the survey results influenced the decision to eliminate the Academic Convocation.

"We tried different formats and the decision was based on three years of data," Enterline said.

On the other hand, the survey data was also used as an endorsement to continue certain R/O activities.

Project MOYA (Move Off Your Assumptions) and City Days both benefited from high ratings.

"If MOYA had not gotten a continued good rating, then we would eliminate it," Enterline said.

Furthermore, survey data revealed which activities needed to be improved.

"There was a big difference [in ratings] with the R/O counselors' meeting, and we tried to improve the training of the counselors," Enterline said.

Although student feedback was definitely considered, Enterline emphasized that feedback from interns and the R/O committee, as well as committee reports from previous years, were all important in this year's R/O planning process.

"The survey gave us a perspective of what students found useful," said R/O Chair Jahnavi Swami '95. However, "we took the information with a grain of salt," she said.

The UAA will not be polling freshmen this year, according to Enterline.

Frosh liked activities overall

The survey data revealed that students considered most of the activities to be worthwhile," Enterline said. "There wasn't anything that had less than 50 percent participation, and many got more than 70 percent participation," she said.

Enterline also said that the international and minority students found the majority of the activities worthwhile.

Highly-rated activities included the Rush Kickoff in Killian Court and the Keynote Speech in Kresge Auditorium. The Academic Expo also "seemed to have high enough satisfaction to continue it," Enterline said.

City Days received higher ratings last year than in previous years, Enterline added.

Swamy believes that these activities received high ratings because they help freshmen feel welcome and adjust to a new environment.

"[MOYA] gives them the opportunity to meet 12 other freshmen without knowing them. City Days is their first opportunity to continue public service."," Swamy said.