Your City Survey 3.0 is almost here
During the next two weeks, students will be invited to participate in Your City Survey 3.0, the third version of an MSU survey aimed at collecting feedback about McMaster students’ perceptions and experiences in Hamilton.
The survey was developed by the MSU in 2011 in response to students’ growing misconceptions about Hamilton, such as the idea that Hamilton cannot compete with metropolises like Toronto and Montreal. It asked students to report on their beliefs about Hamilton’s job market and cultural scene, their experiences in the city and the likelihood that they would live in Hamilton after graduating from the university.
The first Your City Survey revealed that most McMaster students had a negative perception of Hamilton and believed its job market and culture scene were largely inaccessible.
“It is evident that students don't believe that Hamilton offers the opportunities that they think it should offer,” read part of the report. “With 58 per cent being the biggest discrepancy, it is evident that student believe that not enough job opportunities are available to them.”
In light of these results, the MSU proposed the creation of new jobs by the Hamilton municipal government and improved promotion of Hamilton’s natural beauty and culture scene.
In 2015, the Your City Survey was updated to find out whether students’ perceptions and experiences of Hamilton had improved since the first version of the survey was released.
According to an MSU report, the responses in the 2015 Your City Survey 2.0 were more promising compared to those garnered from the first Your City Survey.
“Compared to the 2011 survey, there seems to have been a marked improvement in students’ attitudes regarding Hamilton as a viable option for their future,” read part of the report. “There is still a large percentage of students in the Maybe and No categories, so we encourage the city to continue working to increase graduate retention.”
Yet, while the report highlighted that students’ perceptions of Hamilton became more positive, it also noted that there are areas where community engagement can still be improved.
“Students still clearly believe that McMaster does a better job of advertising opportunities for students in Hamilton, and also that McMaster’s efforts have improved more significantly in the past four years than the city of Hamilton,” read part of the report.
In addition, as a result of a lack of time and awareness, students continue to be deterred from gaining new cultural experiences in Hamilton.
According to Stephanie Bertolo, the MSU associate vice president (Municipal Affairs), Your City 3.0 will be modified to focus more on transit, neighbourhood safety, and perceptions of Hamilton as a place to live after graduating from the university.
In addition, as the latest Your City Survey contained questions related to tourism in Hamilton, which generally did not concern the commuter student population, Your City Survey 3.0 will ask commuter students specifically about their unique situation and perspective.
The survey is being developed by the municipal affairs committee and overseen by Bertolo and Ryan Deshpande, MSU vice president (Education).
“These questions will help us collect more valuable data from students, which will be useful in informing the policies next year's Education Team will likely be rewriting on student housing and student engagement and retention,” said Bertolo.
The survey will be available until May 15 on the MSU website.