As students at IU we have incredible opportunities: internships, classes, lectures, service projects, intramural sports, athletic events, operas, ballets, plays, concerts, and gallery openings. Many of these events are even free, taking our collectively broke status out of the equation. However, being a student often means some of the best opportunities come when we have the least time to take advantage of them. Furthermore, the shear number of possibilities can short-circuit the decision-making process. Numerous studies show that people presented with many choices choices have difficulty making a decision in situations as varied as picking a health care plan to speed dating to buying candy. As an intern for the Academic Initiatives Working Group (AIWG), I can’t, nor do I propose to narrow the field, but AIWG would like to make it easier for the campus community to make decisions about sustainability activities by learning where people want to find information. The method: a survey.
- Students, staff, and faculty help with the Hoosier to Hoosier Community Sale. How did they hear about it?
I’m sharing the survey now because I want to know what you think. Yes, you. It’s a short set of questions, and AIWG considered the busy student/staff/faculty member’s schedule. The whole survey should take less than 10 minutes. It’s anonymous, voluntary, and easy, but the information will help us make sustainability more accessible to the entire campus, indicating which media students, faculty, and staff are already using and prefer. For example, is this blog where you get information? Let us know. Blogs might be a great place to post relevant information, or maybe Twitter or campus calendars would reach people better. If other media are more effective, the survey might not reach those people here, so AIWG is releasing the survey via email and other media, so we don’t only hear from people who prefer blogs. The survey is also in both sustainability and non-sustainability contexts because we want to reach the people already involved and people who don’t know they can be involved. Sustainability is for everyone.
As the end of the semester comes, time becomes scarcer, but soon it will give way to the planning period of summer. This survey will provide AIWG with important information for improving sustainability on campus by making the abundance of activities more accessible. While campus can and should have choices, feedback from the campus community will help us help us put information on sustainability where it is useful, and hopefully, make sustainable action an easier decision to make.
If you haven’t already, take the survey! Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have ideas or distribution channels for the survey.
Alexi Lamm is the Academic Initiatives Working Group intern for the 2011-12 academic year.