You Wanted Our Opinion?

Our tolerance for surveys has reached a tipping point. Surveys may be an easy way to gather information and feedback from students, but if overused, they can undermine their own cause. The school should limit the number of surveys they ask students to fill out and instead seek more effective methods of getting feedback. In the past week alone, the administration has asked students to complete a total of three surveys, one of which was required. This past Wednesday, nearly every student in the school completed a 114-question survey concerning “youth risk behavior,” just days after requests for feedback on Wellness Week and the advising system. Many students could hardly take the survey seriously, and we don’t blame them. Between these surveys and all of the surveys that The Phillipian puts out, SurveyMonkey.com has become more of a nuisance than an institutional tool. Some surveys, like the one we took on Wednesday, are important for assessing student life at PA. Others, however, that seek feedback to improve various school programs, would be better in the form of a discussion, rather than HTML. Few students actually give comments, and bubbles don’t speak. The school would likely receive more constructive feedback by calling kids in at random and asking for their opinions, instead of asking the whole student body to fill out a blanket survey about a given subject. The PA student is far more complex than a string of A’s or E’s, no matter how comprehensive the survey. Our survey capacity is at its limit; the more Surveymonkey links we receive, the less likely we are to participate to begin with. No doubt some students also become less inclined to be honest and thorough in responses. If the school really wants to improve its programs, it should talk to us whenever possible, instead of having us fill in circles.