Open forum polling analyzed

by Madison Hopkins

In order to gather a more accurate picture of the variety of opinions Aztecs have regarding the Student Success Fee, The Aztec held our own informal polling at several of the informational forums between Feb. 3 and Feb. 7.

We had reporters attend the majority of these forums, but unfortunately because of low attendance rates, were only able to survey 33 students and seven faculty or staff members. However, the data revealed some interesting trends in the effectiveness, persuasiveness and perceived fairness of the alternative consultation process.

Regarding the question of whether or not to implement the Student Success Fee and at which price level, many students seemed to react positively to the information provided at the forums. Before the forums, approximately 55 percent of students surveyed planned to vote for no fee increase. After learning about the reasoning behind implementing the fee and what the funds could do for the university, that number dropped to 36 percent. These results could be attributed to the information shown at the forums and possibly helped inform some students of the severity of the financial situation at San Diego State.

Unsurprisingly, a large number of the faculty and staff surveyed supported a fee increase of at least $400 per semester. Professors with shrinking class sections and less funding for classroom resources understand firsthand the need for increased funds.

As for the perceived fairness of the alternative consultation process, a plurality of students felt the process was a fair way to gather student opinions. However, the polls also showed that most students surveyed were relatively unsure about whether the forums would accurately represent the opinions of the majority of the student body.