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Sociology students conduct COVID-19 related survey


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Sociology students have spent the Fall 2020 semester creating a survey to see the effects of COVID-19 on undergraduate students at Central Michigan University. 

Sociology, anthropology and social work faculty member Mary Senter had her SOC 350 students develop a survey with the underlying theme of COVID-19 and everyday life. 

SOC 350: Social Research Methodologies is a required course for sociology, youth studies, and social and criminal justice majors.

The survey was filled out anonymously by undergraduates, who were incentivized by the chance to win a gift card. Results from the survey are being compiled and will be complete by mid-November

“There are two parts to the quality of surveys," Senter said. "The quality of the questions and quality of the sample.” 

The survey highlights three areas where COVID-19 has affected students, including socially, politically and family life.

Senter spoke on the importance of diversity in regard to the survey to receive the most accurate data. 

There were two sections of the course that worked together to be a part of the making of this survey. There were nine teams within the classes that were assigned a client to help students brainstorm questions and understand where issues are coming from. 

The clients involved were President Bob Davies, Mayor Will Joseph, City Manager Nancy Ridley, Executive Director of Counseling Services Melissa Hutchinson and Dr. George Kikano, Vice President of Health Affairs. 

 “After hearing from these individuals we took their interest and our knowledge about research ethics and conduct, and we all composed our survey together," Howell junior Theresa Leffert said.

Each group focused on an issue that interested them, which was later put into one complete survey.

"In my team, we considered the mental health of students, hunger, financial stress and the possibility of catching COVID-19," Lansing senior James Rawson said.

Some other groups decided to zero in on different topics like the dynamics of family during a pandemic. The groups got to choose their topic and develop their questions.

“My group focused on how people are socializing during the pandemic,"  Leffert said. "We wanted to learn more about how social lives have changed and how it has affected people.” 

Once the results are compiled, students will be using that information to write a research paper on their topics.

“It will be a great tool for people to see how students have been affected and how changes can and should be implemented,” Traverse City junior Madelynne Gregory said.

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