Julia Garrison

Gianna Hayes

News Editors

The Voice is dedicated to providing factual information reflecting the campus climate and allowing for an accurate representation of the attitudes of students, staff and faculty. 

From Jan. 30 to Feb. 2, section and managing editors tabled in Lowry Student Center’s Brush Lobby to gather students’ opinions about a multitude of campus resources. The Voice gave a survey designed to accurately capture students’ feelings towards the different offices that students might interact with in their daily activities at the College, both administrative offices and resources focusing on student support.

Approval ratings were completely anonymous. Students were welcomed to include comments,  refrain from leaving a rating or rate the department as neutral if they felt so inclined. These surveys were completed on pen and paper and logged into Google Sheets to analyze the data and secure anonymity.

The breakdown of their specific results were then shared with their respective departments. They were given a space to comment, reply and interact with their results as well as ask for a more detailed look into their results based on demographics collected by the Voice

The Voice collected approximately 330 responses to the survey and took a random sample of these to create a sampling pool that best represented the breakdown of student demographic groups.

Students were asked to answer one prompt for all departments: “Please rate the following offices based on your views of their performance by placing a check in the box corresponding to your rating.” Respondents did not engage with Voice staff except for very basic clarifications on the departments listed. No further explanations for departments or follow-up questions were listed for departments.

75.9 percent of participants identified as white, 7.3 percent as Black or African American, 10.2 percent as Asian, 0.8 percent as American Indian or Alaska Native, 0.8 percent as North African or Middle Eastern and 4.9 percent identified as two or more races.

91.5 percent of surveyees reported their ethnicity as not Hispanic or Latino origin, while 8.5 percent reported being of Hispanic or Latino origin.

47.8 percent of respondents reported their gender identity as female, 24.9 percent as male, 12.9 percent as nonbinary, 2.4 percent as two or more and 2 percent for other gender options that students expanded upon in the space given to them.

Students’ graduation years were rounded down to the nearest class year to account for early graduation and other special cases. 18.9 percent of respondents belonged to the class of 2024, 29.6 percent to 2025, 28.8 percent to 2026 and 22.6 percent to 2027. 

The department with the highest approval rating was the faculty, with an 86.1 percent total approval rating. Faculty received a disapproval rating of less than 1 percent. The department with the smallest approval rating — and in turn the largest disapproval rating — was the office of the President, with a 6 percent approval rating and a 58.5 percent disapproval rating. 35.5 percent of students were neutral about the President’s office. 

President McCall believes that the ratings presented in the survey were due to the newness of the presidential cabinet. “Like [other members of my leadership team], I am eager to listen and learn rather than assume where the challenges lie,” McCall said in her response statement to the Voice. “Building connections with students is a top priority for me.” 

McCall also mentioned the emergence of new programs this semester that would offer students time to meet with her either at her house or for lunch at Lowry and inviting students to have open dialogues with her if they wish to meet. 

The office of residence life received a 39.6 percent approval rating and a 30.8 percent disapproval rating, which Director of Residence Life Johnathon Reynolds views positively.

 “We are encouraged by the positive feedback reflected in the approval ratings and even the neutral numbers,” he said. “This feedback is a testament to the dedication of our team in supporting students through their concerns and ensuring that their voices are heard … even if a student did not get what they were exactly looking for, a resolution was possible.”

He reiterated the office’s commitment to finding a balance between hard policy work and their work in communicating promptly with students.

The dean of students’ office received a 55.1 percent neutral rating, which overshadowed their 24.7 percent approval rating and their 20.2 percent disapproval rating. Although the dean of students’ office was questioned on how their efforts to make themselves known across campus would change after receiving these results, they did not respond to any questions, instead reiterating that they “[are] fully committed to supporting all students as active engaging members of our community.”

The Student Engagement Office received a 62 percent total approval rating and a 6.1 percent disapproval rating. “[The office] has continuously been understaffed over the last 8 years. The main area of neglect, making it a challenge to fulfill our purpose and mission, has been the direct support of our 100+ student organizations,” the office said in a statement to the Voice. “With approximately 601 leadership positions held by students in 100+ student organizations, the one-on-one support needed is high.”

Student Engagement also emphasized a potential change from current student organization software Presence (also known as Scots Connect) to an alternative that is easier to use and more accessible. “We truly love the work we do helping students explore, connect, engage, and belong here at Wooster,” they said.

The Longbrake Wellness Center received a 62 percent approval rating, a 14.5 percent disapproval rating and a 24 percent neutral rating. Representatives from Wellness did not reply to a request to comment by the Voice‘s deadline.

The offices present in Advising, Planning, and Experiential Learning (APEX) include the Academic Resource Center (ARC), career planning services, the Global Engagement Office (GEO) and experiential learning resources. The department overall received a 71.8 percent approval rating, a 19.6 percent neutral rating and an 8.6 percent disapproval rating.

“The staff in APEX are committed to continuous improvement, innovation, and student-centered programming/services,” the department shared in response to receiving the ratings — after a request for more detailed demographic information.

The four branches of the center for diversity and inclusion offices (CDI) were polled as four separate departments due to the different groups that these offices are meant to serve. The Voice provided all four offices with a detailed demographic breakdown of racial identifiers and ethnicities shared on surveys, alongside different groups’ specific ratings.

Out of the four offices polled, the Sexuality and Gender Inclusion office polled the best, with a combined total of 49.8 percent approval. International student services (ISS) had the highest disapproval rating out of the four offices, with a 7.8 percent combined disapproval rating. ISS also had the largest neutral reporting for CDI departments. None of the departments in CDI wished to comment, but religious and spiritual life (RSL) did say that the numbers were helpful to “the work we do and the goals we have for more robust student support.”

In their statement to the Voice, the financial aid office discussed student offerings, such as their programs — like Money Matters — and assistance with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The department boasted a 35.6 percent approval rating, 44 percent neutral rating and a 20 percent disapproval rating. 

The Writing Center received one of the more positive ratings of the offices on the poll. The office received a 72 percent approval rating, a 26.3 percent neutral rating and a 1.6 percent disapproval rating. They “invite students to let us know what they’d like to see in the Writing Center; we love feedback and collaboration around here.” 

Overall, Lowry Dining Center was poorly received, with a 53.7 percent disapproval rating, 25.61 percent approval rating and a 20.73 percent neutral rating; MacLeod’s C Store and the Knowlton Science Cafe were on the opposite end of the spectrum. 

MacLeod’s had a disapproval rating of 13.88 percent, a neutral rating of 13.06 percent and an approval rating of 73.06 percent.  Knowlton received an 8.57 percent disapproval rating, a 24.9 percent neutral rating and a 66.53 percent approval rating. 

“Dining Services has been working hard to provide more options in Lowry Dining Hall, and engaging food events such as the recent Food Show, Super Bowl lunch special, Lunar New Year lunch and the ongoing Black History Month menus,” Marjorie Shamp, director of campus dining said in her response to the Voice‘s questions. 

She credited the new improvements and alternative menu options to listening to and working closely with students.“The staff and management of Campus Dining enjoy working with students to create new experiences, and we look forward to continued conversations.”

The Voice was also included on the survey and received a 77 percent approval rating, a 20 percent neutral rating and a 1.6 percent disapproval rating. This follows months of reporting on integral issues across campus spanning to last semester, including protests regarding certain administrators’ actions and duties in their position, the closure of The College of Wooster Nursery School and dissections of Wooster’s history.

Scot Council was the only other student-run department that was polled on campus;  it directly serves as the liaison between students and administrators and hosts the board of trustees for the twice-yearly Missions and Outcomes meeting. The organization received a 31 percent approval rating and a 14 percent disapproval rating –– with one of the larger neutral ratings of 54 percent. The executive board responded to a request for comment with an explanation of how they plan to make their organization more known on campus with tabling events in the coming weeks –– including “Cookies for Concerns.”

Campus safety received a 28.2 percent approval rating, a 33.6 percent disapproval rating and a 38 percent neutral rating. The office is still in a transitional period following Joe Kirk’s move from campus safety to the dean of students’ office, with Kevin Cooper serving as the department’s interim director. 

“Encouraging an open dialogue between Campus Safety and the community is paramount to our mission,” Cooper said. “Our primary objective is to create a safe and secure environment for the campus community while fostering trust, and this feedback significantly contributes to that goal.”

The office of the registrar received another high proportion of neutral ratings (54.4 percent),  with an approval rating of 26.8 percent and a disapproval rating of 18.8 percent. The office of the registrar did not respond to a request for comment from the Voice at the time of publication.

The data and comments received within the survey had some limitations; ultimately, these data suggest that students see areas of improvement in campus departments.. The Voice is planning to continue to repeat this survey in future semesters in similar formats to record the progress of departments.

A special thanks to The Wooster Voice editorial and managing staff for tabling in Lowry Student Center and collecting and inputting results for the survey, including copying all verbatim comments into the dataset.

Written by

Julia Garrison

Julia Garrison is the News Editor for the Wooster Voice. From Morgantown, West Virginia, she is an English and Global Media and Digital Studies double major with a pathway in digital and visual storytelling. At Wooster, she covers administrative and faculty news. She also designs visuals for stories.