Student Opinion Survey legislation discussed in SGA senate


SGA Senate Leader and Registered Student Organization Growth and Development Committee Chair Caroline Murray introduces her committee's year-long project, the "RSO Toolbox" to SGA General Board on Feb. 26 in the Bovee University Center Auditorium.

Student Government Association Senator Morgan Clark introduced legislation that, if implemented, could change the format of the Student Opinion Surveys.

"A Resolution to Make Amendments to the Implementation and Content of the Student Opinion Survey (SOS) at Central Michigan University" would make the survey an online form and remove gender identification from the questionnaire.

The legislation was introduced during the SGA Senate meeting Feb. 26 in the Bovee University Center Lakeshore Room.

The anonymous Student Opinion Surveys are filled out by students toward the end of each semester and are opportunities to give feedback to instructors.

Clark said the intention of the changes is sparked from a sense of urgency students feel when the surveys are distributed. 

"We wanted to make it more comprehensive and give (students) more time to reflect on how (they) feel about (their) professor, as opposed to rushing out the door and feeling uncomfortable," she said. 

The legislation received support from Senator Celia Millane.

"Not only does it save a lot of paper, because those things take up five to six pieces of paper, it also makes students more comfortable about gender identity," Millane said.

Senator Shane Guenin, however, expressed his concern with the resolution.

"If (the forms) are online, and it isn't necessarily mandatory, students might not fill it out and we might see skewing of results," he said.

Guenin said the SOS forms influence faculty's salaries and promotions and may even cost them their jobs, as students who felt the faculty performed adequately may not fill out the form while students who disliked the faculty would be more likely to give feedback.

Clark, who is also chair of SGA's Academic Affairs Committee, said she discussed the issue with Vice Provost for Academic Effectiveness Claudia Douglass.

"With online courses, in order to see your grade for the course (on BlackBoard) before they're formally submitted to the University, you're required to submit your SOS forms," she said, explaining this method could be implemented with the switch from paper to electronic surveys.

Clark argued the system could increase the amount of students taking the surveys, because students would like to see their grades before the grades become official under the university.

The legislation was tabled by house and senate until after Spring Break in order to provide time for RSO representatives to discuss the piece with their group members so they may correctly represent their organization in how they vote.

RSO toolbox

SGA's Registered Student Organization Growth and Development Committee has released the rental application for an "RSO Toolbox" on its OrgSync page.

SGA Senate Leader and RSO G&D Committee Chair Caroline Murray announced the release during the SGA General Board Meeting in the Bovee UC Auditorium. 

The toolbox is the product of a year-long project started by the RSO G&D Committee. The resource catalog lists tabling supplies, a whiteboard, a bulletin board, two easels, thumbtacks, sidewalk chalk, eight tablecloths and expo markers as items available for rent. 

"Some RSOs don't have the resources other RSOs have," Murray said. 

The toolbox would allow RSOs that are in good standing with SGA to rent the resources instead.