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CU-Boulder 1998 Community Survey

Results at a Glance

In fall 1998, we surveyed a random sample of 468 full-time undergraduates at CU-Boulder, including students from each of the five main racial/ethnic groups on campus: Asian Americans, African Americans, Hispanic students, Native Americans, and white students. The 251 respondents evaluated their UCB experiences and the multicultural environment at the university.

This document presents data from the 1998 Community Survey, almost entirely in graph form. The graphs offer a quick and easy overview of responses and comparison among respondent groups. More detailed information and tables of data are available in the additional sections of this report (see contents at left).

For specific information on the methods used in this report, including how the sample was selected, questions used, and response follow-up, see the Methods section.

  1. Summary
  2. Ratings on most summary measures are positive, and in general, students would recommend UCB to a friend. The picture is less sunny for students of color; in particular, African American students report lower ratings on most positive measures than all other groups, and higher ratings on negative measures such as perceived stereotyping. Members of all groups perceive their personal situation as more positive than the situation for their racial/ethnic group in general.

    Note: For graph display, A=Asian-American, B=Black/African Amer, H=Hispanic, N=Native American, W=White

  3. Overall experience at UCB
  4. Most students report that UCB is a more positive than negative place to be. However, when taking race into account, African American students give much lower ratings. African American students are also least likely to rate UCB as a positive place for themselves.

    This first graph represents responses to the question "Rate CU-Boulder as a place to be for (each of the four group options).

    Note: For graph display, A=Asian-American, B=Black/African Amer, H=Hispanic, N=Native American, W=White

    The following graph shows how students rated CU-Boulder’s climate, based on averaged responses to a set of several questions (see the Overall Experience section for a list of items included). Results here are similar to those reflected in the graph above, but we can consider these results more reliable because they include responses to several specific questions about students’ experiences; it is often easier for students to report their evaluations of specific issues than to make a global judgment of their attitude about CU-Boulder.

    Students were asked if they would recommend that a close friend attend CU-Boulder. If so, they were asked about the particular aspects of UCB that prompt their recommendation. These are:


    Note: For graph display, A=Asian-American, B=Black/African Amer, H=Hispanic, N=Native American, W=White

  5. Comfort, Fitting in, and Belonging on the CU-Boulder Campus
  6. Students were asked about various feelings they may have experienced at UCB. Most students report frequent positive feelings, and infrequent negative feelings. African American students report fewer positive feelings and more negative feelings than do members of other groups. Native American students report the highest comfort, acceptance, and intellectual stimulation.

    Students also rated their comfort in various community and campus activities. African American students are less comfortable in Boulder community activities than they are on campus (to see this visually, please compare the next two graphs). Native American students report the highest comfort in the Boulder community.


    Note: For graph display, A=Asian-American, B=Black/African Amer, H=Hispanic, N=Native American, W=White

    In campus and academic activities, African Americans are generally the least comfortable of all groups, although they generally report being more comfortable than not. African Americans report somewhat higher comfort than at least one other group in UCB athletic events, dorms, ethnic and cultural activities, and using computing labs. All groups report feeling uncomfortable at Greek system events.


    Note: For graph display, A=Asian-American, B=Black/African Amer, H=Hispanic, N=Native American, W=White

  7. Experiences with Ethnic/Racial Stereotyping
  8. Students reported the degree to which they have encountered prejudice from various groups they encounter socially and academically. African Americans report the highest levels of racial/ethnic stereotyping from various campus groups; other groups report very low levels.


    Note: For graph display, A=Asian-American, B=Black/African Amer, H=Hispanic, N=Native American, W=White

    Further, students reported the specific content of stereotypes they have been subject to. Again, African Americans report more kinds of stereotyping than do other group members; for example, they are treated as the resident authority for their group far more than are members of any other group and report being left out of group projects in class. Asian Americans report being asked what their native language is.


    Note: For graph display, A=Asian-American, B=Black/African Amer, H=Hispanic, N=Native American, W=White

    African Americans feel somewhat more race-related pressures than do other group members. White students feel almost no race/ethnicity-related group pressures.


    Note: For graph display, A=Asian-American, B=Black/African Amer, H=Hispanic, N=Native American, W=White

    Some widespread cultural stereotypes are alive and well at CU-Boulder. African Americans report that instructors and students expect them to perform poorly in class, and that students assume they are poor and that they are athletes. Asian Americans report that students expect them to perform particularly well in class.


    Note: For graph display, A=Asian-American, B=Black/African Amer, H=Hispanic, N=Native American, W=White

  9. Use of University Services
  10. The majority of all students are aware of all services except for the Dennis Small 3rd World Center. This is true even of services aimed at a relatively small proportion of students, such as the GLBT Center and the Cultural Unity Student Center. However, despite this awareness, actual use of these services (except for the UMC, Wardenburg, and Financial Aid) is quite low.

    Some differences emerge based on racial/ethnic status. Students of color outnumber white users (though often by a small margin) at the Dennis Small 3rd World Center, Career Services, the Cultural Unity Student Center, Financial Aid, the GLBT Center, SASC, UCB Police, and the UMC. White students outnumber students of color (again, often by a small margin) in using Counseling Services, Disability Services, Wardenburg, and the Women’s Resource Center.




    Note: For graph display, A=Asian-American, B=Black/African Amer, H=Hispanic, N=Native American, W=White

  11. Experiences that Foster Interaction
  12. Students were asked about particular university activities and the degree to which each activity fosters interaction among groups.

    • Asian American students report the lowest participation in these activities.
    • African Americans are best reached by UMC events and student organizations.
    • On average, all activities except the Greek system and events are seen to foster intergroup interaction.


    Note: For graph display, A=Asian-American, B=Black/African Amer, H=Hispanic, N=Native American, W=White

  13. Assessment of University and Community Commitment to Diversity
  14. Students were asked to assess how much various campus and community groups value diversity. African Americans give lower assessments of commitment to diversity than do other group members. UCB’s administrative staff, faculty, and administration are rated highest on average on commitment to diversity; community members are rated lowest.


    Note: For graph display, A=Asian-American, B=Black/African Amer, H=Hispanic, N=Native American, W=White

    In addition, students evaluated the extent of multicultural content in the university curriculum. African Americans see multicultural issues as least integrated into the curriculum; White and Native American students see them as somewhat integrated. Consistent with their views of the degree of integration, African Americans report that the curriculum’s emphasis on multiculturalism is too low.

    White and Native American students are the most likely to report that the curriculum’s emphasis on multiculturalism is too great; however, these groups are at least as likely to report that the emphasis is too low.


    Note: For graph display, A=Asian-American, B=Black/African Amer, H=Hispanic, N=Native American, W=White

    University of Colorado at Boulder Community Survey
    Fall 1998
    Do you think the curriculum's emphasis on multiculturalism is...
    * = Too little; - = About right; @ = Too much
    
                             |
    Asian                    |***********************-------------------------@@
                             |
    Black/African Am         |********************************-----------------@
                             |
    Hispanic                 |*************************------------------------@
                             |
    Native American          |**************---------------------------@@@@@@@@@
                             |
    White                    |*************------------------------@@@@@@@@@@@@@
                             |
                             -----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+
                                  10   20   30   40   50   60   70   80   90  100
    
                                                  Percentage
    
            
  15. Variability within Racial/Ethnic Groups
  16. As shown in the following graphs, the differences between racial and ethnic groups, reflected in the graphs presented above, do not always capture the great variability in how members within each group responded. Note, especially, the wide variation within African Americans, who appear equally likely to give responses at the most negative extreme and at the most positive extreme.

jo - l:\ir\survey\comm\cm98\report\atglance.doc
last updated 8/22/2000

Last revision 07/23/02



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