The Associated Students of Fort Lewis College discussed how to best respond to areas of student needs, as identified by the ASFLC sponsored Student Needs Survey during its meeting on Wednesday night.
The Student Needs Survey was administered via email to students on Nov. 4 2019 for the duration of one month. The survey featured a variety of questions pertaining to if students felt their needs were being met.
Brooklyn Griego, ASFLC senator, reviewed the results of the survey with her fellow senators, which led to a broader discussion regarding ASFLC action that could mend some of the areas in which students identified their needs were not being met.
Among the results, students reported the following:
73% of respondents reported they were comfortable or very comfortable talking with their professors.
80% of respondents felt they are receiving a quality academic experience at FLC.
62% of respondents had never used the Durango transit system.
64% of respondents reported they felt they had access to resources at FLC.
30% of respondents agreed with the statement “I feel stressed about my ability to meet my basic needs.”
44% of respondents cited cost as a barrier to going to the Student Health Center on campus.
66% of respondents do not belong to a recognized student organization at FLC.
64% of respondents said they would like to see more outdoor activities put on for students.
After reviewing the results, Griego and her fellow student senators concluded that many of the areas of need would require their own separate discussions in next week’s meeting. However, the student senate did discuss some of the issues they saw associated with the fact that a majority of respondents saw a need for more outdoor activities put on by the college.
“A main point for Fort Lewis’s advertising for the college, and pulling people here, is a lot on the outdoor aspects, and that we’re an outdoor college, and that our environment is diverse,” Sophie Schawrtz, ASFLC senator, said. “My fear is that if students are getting pulled by that, and they’re coming here for that, and then they don’t feel like they’re having access to that… then that is part of our retention rate not being so high.”
The Student Senate discussed how the issue might not entirely be due to a lack of outdoor activities available to students, citing how Outdoor Pursuits facilitates many outdoor events for students. Instead, ASFLC members pointed to the campus culture around the outdoors.
Carson Ingram, ASLFC senator, described a disconnect he sees occurring between incoming students with experience in the outdoors, and incoming students with little to no experience, but a desire to try them.
“We need a bigger outreach for students that feel more uncomfortable,” Ingram said.
Some solutions brought up by the senate included ASFLC and Outdoor Pursuits collaborating to create more outdoor activities that are catered towards students with beginner-level outdoor skills. In addition, ASFLC discussed meeting with FLC administration to discuss adding more 1-credit classes available to students that are focussed on outdoor skills.
“We should bring this up to the board of trustees, or the president, and really get more people involved if this is theoretically directly impacting our retention rates,” Lotus McCourt, ASFLC senator said. “We need to push to get more outdoor activities, Outdoor Pursuits advertised, and get things happening on campus with the outdoor activities, the way that they should be.”
The complete results of the Student Needs Survey are attached here.