Analysis by Maxim Buckley
Below are the results from a student survey conducted earlier this year with regard to 2019’s RCC operating at the University of Adelaide. The data, in general, is seemingly pretty clear cut. Overall, 42% of students had a positive experience, 37% had a negative experience and 21% were unsure. The report breaks these numbers down further, question by question, often grouping answers together. However, I would like to raise a few points.
In the summary, they have decided to group the responses from two answers together, the two answers that were positive to the RCC event. They have not done the same for the two negative questions. If this were done, the summary would read “44% of respondents had a mostly positive experience whereas 56% experienced some disruptions”. The questions on this were also out of proportion. 50% of the questions were positive toward the RCC, whereas 25% were negative. A further 25% were negative in nature but worded in a more positive way “I experienced minor inconveniences but did not particularly mind”.
In the summary again there is a grouping of questions, with 40% of people apparently being positive toward the location, which in a sense is true. The highest response to a question was 25% of people believing that “They were not sure before and are not sure now”. The diversity of questions was more equal this time around, with 43% of questions being positive, 43% being negative and 14% being neither negative nor positive.
This question I believe to be the most important. It shows us that 39% of people were less likely to attend university, with only 26% being more likely. Given that the RCC made no difference to 32% of people, this shows us that the RCC actually decreased student attendance. Once again they grouped question types together to achieve these results, but it was an even split between positive questions and negative questions, at 33% each. 17% of questions were neither positive nor negative and 17% of questions were “unsure”.
The largest response to this question was 31% of students with “somewhat”, though this response has been combined with the more positive response, resulting in 60% of students saying that the “university had taken a level of action” with no description of what a level of action could be. The split of question type was even in this scenario.
This one was pretty straight forward, 21% were a big yes and 21% were a big no. Of course, these questions were grouped again to result in 41% saying yes in someway and 35% saying no in some way. There was a considerable amount of spin put on the most positive question, whereas the most negative question was very brief, offering only one aspect to consider the question under.
Overall, I would be happy to say the raw data does represent the student body. I myself enjoyed aspects of the RCC, though I just wished it wasn’t on our campus for obvious reasons. The summaries put forth by this document are obviously attempting to put a more positive spin on the data, and so I personally wouldn’t consider them when making a serious decision about the continuation of RCC at the University of Adelaide.