Stats to Start Conversations

Hello everyone! My name is Kat, and I like taking surveys: I get a rush seeing, about a minute after sending out a survey to the student body, the results pouring in. The resulting data quantifies the thoughts and behaviors of Oliners, giving a better impression of what the student body is actually thinking and doing rather than relying on hearsay.

I’ve been collecting self-reported data on Olin since I was a first year here. We’ve had a few infamous surveys – the survey of February 2010, which investigated the correlation between cutting the scholarship in half and the financial backgrounds of students entering the college, for example– which have incited discussion and debate among students. We can also debunk or corroborate theories about the average Olin student. During my first year, I was often told by sophomores that “most people think they are in the bottom 30% of their class”. However, according to survey results 75% of Oliners think they are in the middle 50%, and are slightly more likely to think they are above average in comparison to their peers. (All data is available upon request.)

I hope you will look at and reflect on the results of the surveys printed in Frankly Speaking. While not scientifically rigorous, they are specifically intended to make you think. Should the dining hall do more to accommodate our students with dietary restrictions? When is a reasonable time for people to get up for meetings? Who am I in comparison to my peers?

The survey printed in this issue gathered 187 responses from the 352 students at Olin this semester, or 53.1% of the student body.

Editor’s note: The graphs and statistics associated with this article can be found in the print and pdf versions of the issue. Want to see them? Send an email to submit at franklyspeakingnews dot com, and we’ll send you a copy!

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