News

Survey Suggests Students View Virtual Semester Unfavorably

Ethan Bachand ‘22

Chief News Editor

Over the course of the week between Oct. 30 and Nov.5, The Spire conducted a survey of the student body at the College of the Holy Cross to determine opinion on the current virtual semester, as well as their views of the Spring 2020 semester. Data collected from 597 respondents suggests the students view the current virtual semester as significantly more difficult than typical. This poll was conducted prior to the email sent by Rev. Philip Boroughs, S.J., president of the College.

         Out of the surveyed population, the Class of 2023 represented the majority of respondents, accounting for 30.8% of responses. This was followed by the Class of 2022 at 25.3%, the Class of 2024 at 22.1%, and the Class of 2021 at 21.8%.

Graphic provided by Hui Li ’21

         The first set of questions in the survey focused on student opinion of the Fall 2020 semester. Respondents were asked to rate their personal difficulty with the semester on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the most difficult. 245 students rated the semester at a 5, with 257 more rating the semester at a 4. This total of 502 students vastly outnumbers the 95 students who rated their experience between 1 and 3.

         Following that, respondents were asked to rate the workload for this semester compared to a usual semester on the same scale. Despite the close numbers in the previous questions, 48.8% of students, or 290 in total, rated the workload for this semester at a 5. This indicates that a plurality of students view the workload this semester as more difficult than when they are physically present on campus. Another 36.5% of students rated the workload at a 4.

         In addition to the perception of this semester’s workload, The Spire polled students on their position of instituting a Pass/No Pass option for this semester. In total, 90.4% of students from the 597 sample size said that the College should institute a Pass/No Pass option for the current semester.

         Despite the negative views of this semester, the student body remains excited to return back to campus in the Spring. 90.1% of students said that they would return to campus for the Spring 2021 semester. At the same time, however, only 64.2% of students believed that the campus would be open for this Spring.

Graphic provided by Hui Li ’21

         The most shocking result from the survey was the willingness of students to take part in another virtual semester. Only 69% of students said they would partake in another virtual semester, while 31% said they would not. If that data is extrapolated to the entire student population, the data suggests that 928 students would not be willing to return for another virtual semester.

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