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Survey: Campus safer than 5 years ago

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Sherry Mallory, director of research and assessment for the dean of students, explains the methodology of the Student Campus Climate Assessment Study held yesterday morning in the Swede-Johnson building. The study randomly sampled 500 students to help university officials gain a better understanding of student life and concerns and gain an all-around understanding of campus climate.

By Arek Sarkissian II

Tuesday September 25, 2001

Dean's office officials say UA not as big a party school as some think.

Most students feel safe walking around on campus both during the day and at night, results from a recent survey indicated.

The results of the survey on various issues regarding campus life, which was conducted by the Dean of Students Office, were released at a forum yesterday in the Swede Johnson building. The survey was conducted in April.

The survey found that almost everyone felt safe on campus during the day, and the majority felt safe at night.

A survey done during the 1995-1996 school year found that most students did not feel safe on campus.

Because of this, Associated Students of the University of Arizona started the ASUA Safe Ride program and helped install the blue-light emergency phones around campus.

"I feel safe enough to walk around if I wanted to," said Nipa Thakkar, a media arts sophomore.

The study also focused on ways UA students spend their free time.

Officials said, despite common misconceptions about UA, the University of Arizona is not a party school

Students seem to agree.

"Everyone told me this was a party school, but it's not like they said," said Kevin Brown, a pre-business freshman.

But another student said he agreed with the reputation.

"Every single person I know says it is," said Stefan Misanko, a pre-business junior. "I hear most freshmen that look for a party find one."

According to the study, 5.8 percent of students said they enjoy going to bars. Three percent of those were freshmen.

Of the resources available to students on campus, the UA Main Library was rated the most popular with 94 percent of people saying they use it.

"I've had some students approach me saying it was their first time at the library and they were juniors and seniors," said Ryan Windows, program coordinator for the vice president for Campus Life.

The study also found both the Strategic Alternative Learning Techniques and Oasis centers received very high ratings.

The Dean of Students office will conduct a third comprehensive assessment of the campus climate for UA students in Spring 2006.

Officials said incoming freshmen and blacks spent more time using the Internet than other students.

"This might be a sign some people are trying to stay connected outside of the UA community," said Sherry Mallory, director of research and assessment for the dean's office.

Officials said freshmen may use the Internet more than others because they are away from home for the first time, and that the homesickness could eventually lead to the student withdrawing from classes.

Of 500 students who were surveyed, 66 percent were state residents, 84 percent were single and 70 percent lived off campus.

The study found the gender ratio leaning more to the side of men. It found the student body to be 56 percent men and 44 percent women.


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