Near West Side survey to gauge student opinions about the neighborhood

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Near West Side survey to gauge student opinions about the neighborhood

CAMPus Impact seeks to encourage students to explore the Near West Side through club activities and service trips. Wire stock photo

CAMPus Impact seeks to encourage students to explore the Near West Side through club activities and service trips. Wire stock photo

CAMPus Impact seeks to encourage students to explore the Near West Side through club activities and service trips. Wire stock photo

CAMPus Impact seeks to encourage students to explore the Near West Side through club activities and service trips. Wire stock photo

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Near West Side Partners and the Center for Peacemaking emailed a survey to graduate and undergraduate students on Jan. 18 with the goal of determining how students feel about their neighborhood.

The survey, which closes Feb. 2, includes questions about student experiences and perceptions about the quality of life in the Near West Side.

“Marquette students and Marquette as an institution play a vital role in the Near West Side in terms of it as a place where people come to get a world class education,” said Patrick Kennelly, director of the Center for Peacemaking and principal investigator for the NWS’s Promoting Assets Reducing Crime initiative.  “It’s a place where people come to work and then a place where all kinds of community members interact. We’re just very curious what people’s perceptions are about the area most students live in.”

The student survey is the third round of surveys that will be completed by members of the NWS community. NWS employees were surveyed in the spring and summer of 2015 and NWS residents were surveyed in summer and fall 2015.

Kennelly said the Center for Peacemaking and the Marquette Democracy Lab (MDL) primarily handled the creation of the survey and administered it to students.

The survey is one component of the PARC initiative. Kennelly works with a team of co-investigators, including The Social Innovation Initiative, the Office of Public Affairs and other on-campus and community partners in the area.

The MDL will advise the PARC initiative and assist with the survey while helping the NWS engage its residents.

“On the survey front we helped design the survey, administer it and analyze the data, but we’re also working with others in the PARC initiative to identify ways to engage residents,” said Amber Wichowsky, an assistant political sciences professor and the director of the MDL. “As the initiative gets underway we are going to work to both broaden as well as deepen resident engagement.”

Once the survey closes, Kennelly said a team from the MDL and the Center for Peacemaking will help analyze the survey results. Kennelly said he hopes to get one third or more of Marquette students to participate in the survey in order to obtain significant results.

“I think that Marquette students really care,” Kennelly said. “I think about how involved students are in the neighborhood through service work and service learning and living in the neighborhood that the motivation to take the survey is to share what could make this area better.”

Eileen Walsh, a sophomore in the College of Nursing, said she took the survey because she is interested in seeing how the NWS will develop the area around Marquette.

“It would be interesting to see how Marquette may get more involved in getting out of the campus area and getting more involved in the community,” Walsh said.

Kennelly said each of the communities surveyed in the last year will be surveyed again one year from now in order to observe changes in the perceptions of the NWS. Students who take the survey will be entered in a raffle to win 10 $25 MarquetteCASH awards.

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