IU Student Government completed the third Vision of the Ideal College Environment Report, known as the VOICE Report and is now distributing it to interested students, administrators, faculty and staff.
The VOICE Report is a comprehensive record commissioned by President Michael McRobbie in 2007. IUSG compiles this report every five years, summarizing what students see as the ideal college experience, senior and student body president Alex Wisniewski said.
The process begins by creating a survey that is sent to all IU-Bloomington students, Wisniewski said. Student government then analyzes the data and develops feasible recommendations to give to the president of IU, he said.
The process took more than a year, meaning two IUSG administrations worked on it.
“Once the responsibility for it was transferred over to us, we sent out the survey, let it run for a few weeks, stopped the survey and started analyzing the findings to draw conclusions from that,” said senior Dan Green, IUSG’s chief information officer.
The survey includes topics regarding technology, facilities, student services, student engagement, safety and intellectual curiosity. It included 300 questions and received 1,994 responses.
The report contains three overarching recommendations with detailed categories and subrecommendations, said junior Isabel Mishkin, current chief of staff and incoming student body president.
“I think it really shows the depth and the time it took and how we as student government truly try to be reflective of what students say, think and feel," she said.
These three main recommendations are to:
“Create an inclusive environment that allows all students from any combination of backgrounds and experiences to succeed.”
“Centralize university resources in academic settings.”
“Listen to student voices then address student concerns.”
“Different committees were able to discuss what students believe to be primary concerns and themes of student life on campus,” Wisniewski said.
These concerns were taken into account through the creation of the report.
“In recent years but throughout IU’s history, we’ve attracted students from dozens of different countries and counties and states and backgrounds, and we want to make sure that the spaces and resources we have are inclusive to all students,” Mishkin said.
The report is intended to be actionable, Mishkin said.
“That’s really important to us because we want to make sure that the student voices that we’re capturing are actually representing the students here on campus of that time,” she said. “We want to make sure we’re representing the today needs of students.”
The entire process involves thousands of students, Wisniewski said.
“I think this process is one of the most important reports that goes to President McRobbie’s office,” Wisniewski said. “This is something he allows students to craft.”
Organizations across campus received this report. IUSG sent the report not only to McRobbie, but also to other stakeholders on campus, from the director of the IU Health Center to the director of Recreational Sports to the vice president of Facilities, Wisniewski said.
Completing the report was a team effort, Wisniewski said.
“It’s important for student government to work through this process because that is what student government is here to do, built by students for students serving students,” Mishkin said.
The VOICE Report is emblematic of the relationship between the IU administration and students, Mishkin said.
“It signals that the administration cares about how the students’ voice and student life at IU is changing,” Green said. “It also represents an opportunity for students to answer that interest expressed by the administration, and it’s valuable because a lot of students were able to contribute their individual voices to the larger VOICE Report.”
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