Survey vent, part 1: married students exist

When designing a survey to be taken by university students, please remember: Some students are married or live with long-term partners—and some students have children.  These things are true for any college-student population, but they are especially relevant when your survey specifically targets graduate and professional students.

This little vent was brought to you by a graduate housing survey from my university’s Residence Life department.  “Lives with family” can mean very different things depending on whether you mean “lives with parents” (which was the implied meaning in this case) or “lives with spouse/partner/children” (for which there wasn’t another, more applicable choice).  And don’t frame your rent, roommate, and bathroom-sharing questions in a way that assumes people are single.

Oh, and while we’re at it, don’t ask me for my “hometown.”  Be more specific about what you’re looking for here.  Where I grew up, where my parents live now, and where I consider “home” are three different things.

One thought on “Survey vent, part 1: married students exist

  1. Yeah…that’s weird to be asking grad students. I met my husband while I was working on my first master’s degree. A lot of my classmates were already married. And when I unexpectedly got pregnant with Unpredictable mid-semester during my second master’s degree, I was taking daylong Saturday classes and decided to tell the professor I was pregnant so he wouldn’t be offended if I ran out of the room. I remember thinking, “This would be more awkward if I were an undergrad.” Haha

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