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Loyola presents findings of campus climate survey

Loyola presents findings of campus climate survey

In the spring of 2019, Loyola commissioned a Campus Climate Assessment Project to be conducted by Rankin & Associates Consulting to measure whether or not the University is fulfilling its mission of creating a welcoming campus. On Oct. 23, Julie Del Giorno, executive associate and Senior Research Associate at Rankin & Associates, presented the results of the survey.

Del Giorno began by explaining why completing a report like this is necessary. 

“Our learning environments are affected by our campus environments,” said Del Giorno, “and a more diverse environment encourages better learning.” Diversity and acceptance of diversity are key for helping students, faculty, and staff feel at home.

The turnout rate was high for this survey, seeing 27% of the total undergraduate, graduate, faculty, and staff responding. 27% of undergraduates alone responded, with a total of 1805 responses. Del Giorno noted that while the response rate was not at the 30% they prefer, 27% was still significant enough to draw meaningful conclusions.

From the data, Rankin & Associates found some significant statistics.

MENTAL HEALTH: Mental health is a struggle many students, faculty, and staff are facing. Approximately 13% of respondents reported that they have a condition that affects their living, learning, and working activities, with most respondents listing mental health as the primary reason.

DIVERSITY: 73% of students are white, 8% are black/African American, 8% considered additional people of color, and 7% multiracial. Regarding religious diversity, about 45% of students are Roman Catholic, with 23% reporting no affiliation, and 20% of various Christian affiliations. Only 9% of students fall into other denominations. 

POLITICAL STATUS: Since the 2016 presidential election, Rankin & Associates has noted a serious shift in college campuses on how people identify and are treated politically. Prior to 2016, DACA students were 40 times more likely to identify themselves. On campus, 17% of respondents felt excluded because of their political beliefs.

CONSIDERING LEAVING: 43% of undergraduates answered that they have seriously considered leaving Loyola. While the audience thought it was for financial reasons, Del Giornoresponded, “While students may say it’s financial, it’s almost never financial.” Most students have reported wanting to leave because of feeling like they don’t belong or have experienced exclusionary behavior.

FEELING VALUED: While some responses did answer that they felt excluded on campus, a majority of students, faculty, and staff report feeling valued by their peers and superiors. Most students have felt valued by their teachers and friends, both in and out of the classroom.

The Rankin & Associates study provided many key takeaways for Loyola students, faculty, administration, and staff to work on. Loyola University Maryland fosters a good community for most students, but there are still examples of exclusionary behavior that many students are feeling. It will take a continued effort to uphold Jesuit values in the environment that Loyola students, faculty, and staff create.

Click here to find the full report.

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Loyola presents findings of campus climate survey