Monday, August 1, 2016

Students and UGA

Buried in a lengthy survey about the climate at UGA are some questions student media, particularly The Red & Black, could mine for stories. Take page 228 of the report, for instance. The subhead is:

Students Who Have Seriously Considered Leaving UGA

There's rich stuff. Allow me to hit a few high points (or low points, if you prefer):
  • A quarter of all students (undergrad and grad) have considered leaving UGA, most of them in their first year as a student here.
  • Thirty-eight percent of African American undergrads considered leaving.
  • Forty-seven percent of tho undergrads with multiple disabilities considered leaving.
A few caveats. This was not a random survey, but rather a self-selected survey. See my methodological criticism of it here.

What are the top reasons students considered leaving? Here ya go:
  1. I didn't belong
  2. Campus climate was not welcoming
  3. Personal reasons (medical, mental, etc.)
  4. Financial reasons
  5. I didn't have a support group
There's a treasure trove of data here, starting points for stories about student life at UGA. The numbers alone are not a story. You need to find folks who illustrate the issues brought forth in the data. And you must include caveats about the survey itself. Indeed, the survey probably deserves a longish R&B piece, or a multi-part story with graphics and sidebars.

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