On Tuesday Nov. 10, students in the Tartan Marketplace were treated to a free slice of pizza for filling out a parking survey until 1 p.m. It was a great deal. Eat pizza for telling the school what I think about parking? What’s to lose?
So I gave over my student number and grabbed a survey and a pen. When am I typically at school? Check. How do I get here? Check. Do I know of anyone who didn’t come or has quit coming to Sinclair due to dissatisfaction with parking? No.
Did they really just ask me if I knew someone who dropped out of college because they couldn’t find a parking spot?
Yes, they did, and they also asked me if I knew someone who “reduced the number of classes being taken due to dissatisfaction with Parking.”
Who has that kind of reaction to parking? I don’t know of anybody who drops out of school because they don’t have a place to put their car. That’s an extreme reaction.
I continued taking the survey because I still wanted my pizza, and I got to question nine: “Please describe a positive parking experience you have encountered recently. Include the following: Where were you? What about the parking experience made it positive?”
That’s funny. It seems to me a survey would want balanced feedback from its sample populace. If there’s a question asking for a positive experience I’ve had. Maybe they’ll balance it with a question about a negative experience I’ve had.
They never specifically asked about negative experiences, not even whether or not I liked or disliked parking at Sinclair. The closest they came to balancing the “positive experience” question was “What changes would need to be made at Sinclair to satisfy your parking issues?”
If there had been even a “Are you satisfied with the current parking situation at Sinclair?” question, I probably wouldn’t have a reason to be dissatisfied with this survey. But all they did was give me a chance to add anything else that I might want the administration to know.
So, yes, there is something else I would like the administration to know. I would like them to know that creating a questionnaire that asks about specific positives but not specific negatives is in fact creating a pre-determined biased result in the creator’s favor.
I don’t know about you, but when this survey’s results are published, I’m going to think twice about accepting them at face value.