Over the years we have tried to have continuing public input to our project through surveys of the students, faculty and community. Below is a copy of the Student Greenhouse Project's survey (n=3040), which was completed in the Spring of 2002.
Student Greenhouse Project 30-second Survey
- Do you know about the student greenhouse project?
- Would you use the student greenhouse if it were available to you?
- What would you like to use it for? (Quiet time, enjoy flora and fauna, study area, etc.)
- Would you prefer a conventional greenhouse or a biodome design?
- How do you think a biodome would look on the site behind Old Horticulture, near Student Services (north end of Farm Lane)?
- What do you think of alternate sites by the river or Erickson Kiva?
- What is your major and expected graduation date? (Or indicate faculty/staff, public, alumni etc.)
- Thank you for your time and input.
Who Filled Out the Survey?
The last question of the survey asked the expected graduation date and major of the person filling out the survey or to identify themselves otherwise. The respondents were almost evenly split between students, 55%, and other segments of the population: alumni, 10%, faculty/staff, 10% and the public, 16%. The 9% of the respondents who did not list a category were generally members of the public who did not answer due to the structure of the question.
Do you know about the Student Greenhouse Project?
Some people knew nothing about the project, walked up looked at two pictures, the examples included in this proposal, and filled out the survey without any other information and put No (25%) for their response to question one. Some asked questions, and received a short informational introduction. Their response of, "a little" or "I do now", were tallied together (10%). Overwhelmingly people on campus were aware of the student greenhouse effort (62%).
Would you use the Student Greenhouse if it were available?
The vast majority of those responding are anticipating using the greenhouse (89%)
What would you like to use it for?
The survey offered three examples as a prompt for this questions: quiet time, enjoy flora and fauna and study area. Then below offered the largest writing space on the survey. The responses to this question are shown in two bar graphs. The first graph groups responses into four categories and shows a percentage of that grouping's occurrence. The percentages if summed together would exceed 100% because the responses were non-exclusive. Many people answered that all three of the offered uses were important to them, or chose one and wrote in their own as well.
The second graph shows the actual number of people who chose the particular response. It also shows the additional responses people went to the effort to express in their own words. They emphasize the quality of life assets the community hopes to derive and would value in the greenhouse.
Would you prefer a traditional square design or a modern dome?
The dome design was the overwhelming preference (88%) when compared to a conventional greenhouse. The standard greenhouse was enhanced in a setting emphasizing the historic heritage of the site. The arrangement was appreciated, but even elderly members of the community and alumni determined that as a building project the Biodome offered more.
Conventional Greenhouse Picture Used in the Survey
Biodome Picture Used in the Survey
How do you think a modern dome would look on the site behind Old Horticulture, near Student Services?
Most people thought the look the dome would bring to the area would be very attractive (85%). The negative responses were very few (4%). Since this survey was done we have now been moved to a new site south of the river between Shaw Hall and Farm Lane, across from Erickson Kiva.
What do you think of alternate sites by the river or Erickson Kiva?
In an attempt to investigate options for the project and the public’s response we asked people’s impressions of other sites. Thirty four percent made very strong statements against anywhere other than the present approved site. Early in the survey, when respondents were predominately from on campus, the “no alternative” group was a solid, unvarying 40%. As the survey balanced the on and off campus inputs this number slowly declined as the unsure and blank percentages rose, reflecting less familiarity with these site options among off campus individuals. Twenty five percent were open to other options, even other than those offered in the question. Placement by the river received a small but significant approval (12%). Another large sector was either plainly unsure (10%) or had no opinion (18%).
How Biased is this Survey?
As an assessment of survey bias we compared the design preference chosen in question four against the knowledge of the project indicated by the respondent in question one. Individuals who wrote they had no knowledge of the project when they filled out the survey made their choices based only on a comparison of two similar pictures. They were shown the same picture with one version having the dome substituted for the conventional greenhouse. The dome design was still the choice of an overwhelming majority. The distribution of choices was also not significantly different from those more informed. Indicating very little of the outcome of the survey could be attributed to the presentation and process of the surveying.
As an additional check for survey bias we divided the respondents into their self assigned categories and compared their design preference. Across all groups the distribution of choices showed a consistent pattern. Internal consistency indicates an accurate survey with a high level of confidence in the findings. The Student Greenhouse's design is fully acceptable to the public with the vast majority looking forward to enjoying its beauty and greenery.
Recognition and Thanks