Survey Methodology

How The Survey Was Done

By Katelyn Becker

The Voiceless survey was produced by journalism students at American University in the spring of 2016. It was distributed by the Writing and Editing for Convergent Media class through social media and by contacting schools assigned by the managing editor.

At its close, the survey was accessed by almost 700 students, and over 300 respondents took the survey in full.

The survey was designed for undergraduate and graduate students ages 18 to 26. 90 percent of respondents were undergraduates.

Professors, survey professionals and experts reviewed the survey before it went live on March 21. Professor and market research expert Maria Ivancin was immensely helpful to our survey team when phrasing questions and analyzing the data.

There are more respondents from American University likely because students in the class distributed it on their own social networks. The managing editor also assigned each student a group of colleges to contact. He tried to distribute the list evenly between private and public colleges.

Respondents to the survey were asked to check the boxes that coincide with the races and ethnicities they identify with. 79 percent identified as white, 11 percent identified as Asian or Asian American, 9 percent as Hispanic or Latino, 8 percent as African American and Black, 5 percent as Other, 3 percent as American Indian or Alaska Native and 2 percent as Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander. The percentages add up to more than 100 percent because students were able to check more than one box.

In terms of gender, it was difficult to analyze because gender was an open-ended question. The team kept it an open-ended question in order to avoid putting people in boxes.

The other open-ended questions were regarding how students defined the term safe space and if they felt that they were able to express themselves on campus.