State of the Campus 2013
8 October 2013
SOCSI students carry out largest listening campaign on a UK university campus to identify and address main issues putting pressure on Cardiff students
The first week of the teaching semester for second year Cardiff School of Social Sciences (SOCSI) students was replaced with the 'State of the Campus' Research Project; a real research project organised in conjunction with Citizens UK – an alliance of community organising groups specialising in developing the capacity of local citizens to work together for the benefit of their communities.
The aim of the project was to find out what matters most to the students of Cardiff and attempt to create solutions for these issues. This 'Listening Campaign' provided students with experience of qualitative and quantitative research methods, exposing them to 'community organising' and ultimately producing a snapshot report on the State of the Campus in 2013 and how to change it!
At the beginning of the week, all second year students gathered for the initial briefing of what would be the largest Listening Campaign carried out on a UK university campus. Jonathan Cox, Lead Organiser from Citizens UK, said: "This week is all about finding out what matters to people and then doing something about it. The research that you collect can be used to change and improve people's lives."
Students were sent out to begin their data collection, with more than 300 face-to-face interviews carried out and more than 200 surveys gathered on the first day. By the end of the second day, a total of 1,382 interviews had been carried out. Students were also tweeting pictures of research participants and recording audio clips of the conversations – click here to take a listen.
In total, 543 surveys were completed and 1585 conversations carried out and the four main themes that emerged as the most important issues facing Cardiff students, were:
- University Life
The week culminated in an 'Assembly' where students had one minute to present their research findings to the entire cohort of second year students, Citizens UK colleagues and members of SOCSI staff.
Campaign teams have been created to represent each of the four themes and they will work with Citizens UK to devise and run campaigns to help address the issues that were raised. For example, campaigning to hold exams in venues that are close to campus and familiar to students and having phone booths in the Students' Union where students can call utilities providers on 0800 numbers at a low cost, rather than having to call from their mobile phones at a premium rate.