To gauge students’ satisfaction as paying customers of Xavier University of Louisiana, an enterprise team comprised of members of The Xavier Herald and XTV created and implemented a survey assessing students’ opinions about life on campus, student services and the overall Xavier experience Team leaders Eric Craig, a senior political science major from Los Angeles, Calif., and Franziska Pirkl, a senior public relations major from Munich, Germany, said the project’s goals are to generate quantitative and qualitative data the administration, Board of Trustees, faculty, staff—and students—can use to address the challenges of student recruitment and retention, as well as gauge school pride and student engagement.
Using research methods learned in the Departments of Mass Communication and Political Science, the team met over the course of several weeks to hammer out the survey format, questions, and delivery methodologies.The team conducted the anonymous survey, “Customer Satisfaction at Xavier University of Louisiana,” Feb. 2-7, 2016, utilizing social media, online links, email, hand-distributed reminder bookmarks, and one-on-one interviews.
Based on the customer satisfaction survey, roughly 41 percent of respondents indicated that they feel satisfied about their overall college experience at Xavier. The same percentage said they feel neutral about it, and 18 percent of students are dissatisfied. A large number of respondents, about 54 percent, expressed that they are satisfied with the academic quality they are receiving for school fees and tuition. Even though many students criticized Xavier’s high fees and tuition in the comment section, they strongly complemented the level of education they are receiving, as well as the positive relationships with their professors.
Roughly 52 percent of those surveyed said they are satisfied with faculty interactions. The results also showed that office hours are being kept by faculty and materials/grades are being posted in a timely manner. When asked about their overall customer service experience at Xavier, the majority of students, 45 percent, feel satisfied, but also reported unpleasant experiences with Financial Aid, Fiscal Services or the Registrar’s office. St
udent services received a fairly positive rating.
Half of the 502 respondents indicated that they are satisfied with the level of transparency student services, SGA and XAB provide regarding the selection of music artists and activities. Only 10 percent feel dissatisfied with overall student services and their engagement with students. When looking at the students who live on campus, 350 out of the 502 respondents, 66 percent are dissatisfied with campus housing. The majority of comments stated a lack of responsiveness to inadequate living conditions, cleanliness, building maintenance, plumbing issues, insect problems and health hazards such as mold.
Considering that 387 out of the 502 respondents are on a meal plan, 58 percent of those living on campus eat in the cafeteria every day. A majority of students on a meal plan are dissatisfied with the menu choices and variety of Sodexo and only 14.4 percent are satisfied.The majority of comments indicated that dinner hours should be extended beyond 7 p.m. and that there should be an early breakfast on weekends. Furthermore, 37 percent of students feel satisfied about the cleanliness of the cafeteria, 28 percent feel dissatisfied and 33 percent are neutral about it.
These survey results are meant for enhancing student retention, school spirit and campus life. The quoted comments from students were selected based on reoccurring themes found in the survey responses. In order to provide the Xavier community with professional and unbiased journalism, team members of the Xavier Herald and XTV interviewed Xavier’s new President Dr. C. Reynold Verret; Ralph W. Johnson, senior vice president for administration; Marion Bracy, vice president of facility planning and management; Dr. Anil Kukreja, Dean of the College Arts and Sciences; and Joseph Byrd, vice president for student services***
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