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Volume 70, Issue 71, Friday, December 3, 2004


Officials drafting housing survey

Pricing, staff housing among potential survey questions

By Tina Marie Macias
The Daily Cougar

Students, faculty and staff could be asked to complete an online survey about University housing when they return for the spring semester.

Officials haven't decided whether the survey will be sent to a small sample of the UH population or everyone on campus, but Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Administration Diane Murphy said people who participate will get e-mails directing them to the survey when it is released.

Brailsford & Dunlavey, the firm handling the housing study, hopes to get at least 500 responses to the 25-question survey, consultant Tim Miller said. The firm is working with the Division of Student Affairs to finalize the questions.

Some of the questions on the survey will be written based on information collected from a series of housing focus groups this semester, Miller said.

"This is one of the early phases of this master plan process," he said. "We're looking forward to getting some good data from students."

Miller said questions will cover what students think about housing and what they would like to see, including their pricing preferences.

The questions may include whether faculty and staff members would like to have housing on campus. Murphy said a survey asked that question 20 years ago and found little interest in the idea.

"It would be interesting to know what people think 20 years later, or if faculty would be interested in living with students," Murphy said. "It's done at a lot of colleges, and it gives universities a better academic success rate because of that."

Brailsford & Dunalvey has handled housing surveys at about 100 universities -- half of them online.

"We like the online survey because we think it's easier to get a more representative sample when you do it online rather than handing them out, and the feedback that we get from people that fill the surveys out is that it's much faster and easier and simpler to do it online," Miller said.

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