I hope these past few weeks have been exciting, rewarding, and filled with opportunities to grow in mind, body, and spirit as you engage in your coursework and campus life.
At the start of the semester, I invited us to consider what it might mean to engage intentionally in reflection in community. Finding space and time amid busy schedules can be difficult, but our willingness to do so—to reflect, prayerfully, on the constant input we receive and to do so in the context of community—is absolutely essential to the good work we are able to do at Notre Dame and beyond.
In this spirit, I write today to share with you the results of the 2022 Inclusive Campus Student Survey. As a part of the University’s own commitment to reflecting in community, I also write to offer next steps for how we might continue to promote, together, the vibrant and supportive community to which we aspire.
Background on the Inclusive Campus Student Survey
Led by the Division of Student Affairs and the Office of Strategic Planning and Institutional Research, the University regularly administers the Inclusive Campus Student Survey to hear directly from you, our students. Your feedback informs our efforts to nurture a campus climate that honors diversity of background, thought, and experience; supports the belonging and full participation of underrepresented students; and engages and values the authentic voice of every person. We are committed to ensuring that every student feels they are part of a supportive community, and the Inclusive Campus Student Survey provides an important perspective on our strengths as well as areas for potential improvement.
The University administered the most recent survey from Feb. 14 through March 6, 2022, and all enrolled students (12,897) were invited to participate. The survey returned a 42% (5,388) response rate overall, higher than the national average for similar surveys.
2022 Survey Results
Whereas previous iterations of the Inclusive Campus Student Survey results were presented in a text-only PDF format, this year the results are presented through an interactive report. Users can now view the full set of data and select any results they would like to view by demographic. Additionally, users may view current data in comparison with data from past administrations of the survey along with themes that emerged from student responses to open-ended questions. You can view the full report using your NetID and password via diversity.nd.edu/inclusion.
Similar to 2018 and 2020, the 2022 survey results show the Notre Dame community has many strengths, but also some challenges that continue to demand the University's collective attention. A few key results are shared below. Please note the following results represent the overall student population. To view responses by demographic, please review the Tableau report.
- While 89% of students agree they feel a sense of belonging at Notre Dame, consistent with previous administrations of the survey, the extent to which students feel a sense of belonging varies by identity. Sense of belonging is also correlated with whether students have experienced adverse treatment and, sadly, 50% of students indicated they have experienced adverse treatment related to an aspect of their identity at Notre Dame.
- 91% of students agree that Notre Dame provides non-academic programs and activities that promote multicultural understanding while 89% agree that Notre Dame provides multicultural understanding in research and academic coursework.
- 77% of students would recommend Notre Dame to someone similar to them.
- In 2022, a new question was asked: “How has Notre Dame changed since you started?” 43% of students believe the inclusiveness of campus has improved since they began at Notre Dame.
- Based on student input, a new set of questions was asked in 2022 to better understand students’ awareness and use of resources to address discrimination, harassment, and misconduct, including familiarity with SpeakUp.nd.edu, the University’s online reporting tool. 25% of students indicated they knew the purpose of SpeakUp.nd.edu, and only 15% reported understanding how to use it.
The fact that 89% of students agree they feel a sense of belonging speaks to the admirable and important efforts of so many at Notre Dame who strive daily to strengthen students’ experience and sense of community. At the same time, the above data point to areas where we might also grow. I am grateful to the many students who shared their experiences through this survey, and to the faculty and staff who have collaborated to develop and process the insights we might gain.
In the months ahead, I and other members of the University community, including Rev. Hugh R. Page, Vice President for Institutional Transformation and Advisor to the President, will work to engage students in a variety of ways to discuss the survey results, address challenging issues, and formulate steps the University can take to improve the campus climate at Notre Dame, especially in the areas highlighted by the survey results.
We will invite feedback from student clubs and organizations and host student-led focus groups to determine how we can put ideas offered through the survey’s open-ended comments into action. To apply to serve as a volunteer focus group facilitator, please click here.
In the immediate future, I welcome conversations during my recurring office hours held every Wednesday from 9 to 10 a.m. in 316 Main Building; or during my bimonthly Fireside Chats near the first-floor fireplace in Duncan Student Center. If you are not able to make these opportunities, you are welcome to schedule an appointment to meet with me at your convenience.
Our ability to have open and constructive dialogue about complex issues is critical to fostering an inclusive campus. At Notre Dame, we seek to bring diverse perspectives and backgrounds to challenges faced by our world into dialogue with the light of faith, and to do so within the context of community. As Fr. Jenkins has said on many occasions, it will take all of us if we are to become the community we hope to be. We are grateful for the commitment and leadership so many of you demonstrate each and every day to making Notre Dame a better place, one that truly honors the inherent dignity of every person created in the image and likeness of God. We look forward to our ongoing dialogue and to the important work ahead.
In Notre Dame,
Fr. Gerry Olinger, C.S.C.
Vice President for Student Affairs