In hopes of gaining insight and perspective on the student experience at The University of Tennessee during the time of COVID-19, the Executive Branch of the Student Government Association decided to construct and distribute a survey for students to complete. This survey asked questions related to the following topics (in the order which they appear in this report):
- On campus and off campus living and concerns
- Displacement Feedback
- COVID-19 On-Campus Enforcement
- Student Concerns
- Mental Health Affects
- Food and Dining
- Work and Income
- Off-Campus Life
- Cumberland Strip
- Greek Life
As the survey currently stands at the time of this report (September 27, 2020) we have received a total of 284 student responses. This data has been collected in both quantitative and qualitative means. The purpose of this report is to highlight some of the lived student experiences during the time of Covid-19 and to understand what areas students have concerns about. While not every response could be included we hope to give a realistic view of how students are struggling in times of Covid-19. This report has not included any quotes or free responses from students because no student was able to consent to have their responses shared. We hope by showing and releasing this data we can give a realistic view to the student experience.
284 students responded to the question “Where are you living this year” 48.2% (137) said off campus, the next highest percentage is 7.4% from Greek Housing, followed by Dogwood with 6.4%.
The question asked: “Have you been displaced from your residence, permanent, or temporary, due to the pandemic?” out of the 283 responses 22.3% said yes.
The students that have been displaced from their residence, permanent, or temporary, due to the pandemic were asked to rate their experience on a scale of 1-5
(1- I had a horrible experience 5- I had a great experience)
16% answered 1 (12 students)
25.3% answered 2 (19 students)
41.3% answered 3 (31 students)
9.3% answered 4 (7 students)
8% answered 5 (6 students)
COVID-19 On-Campus Enforcement
Mental Health Affects
Many students expressed their concern for their own, or others mental health states during this pandemic. These responses have not been included for the privacy of those who made them. But, it is important to note that many students have concerns about this topic.
Food and Dining
The question asked to students: “Has there been a time in isolation or quarantine when you did not have reliable access to food?” of the 284 responses 85.8% (229) students said that they have had reliable access to food in quarantine or self isolation. 14.2% (39) students responded that there has been a time in quarantine or self isolation where they did not have reliable access to food.
Work and Income
Off Campus Life
Although not directly asked about in the survey, many students expressed concerns about the Strip and bars. The student responses given express concerns about bars, nightlife on the weekends and enforcement of proper CDC guidelines happening specifically on the weekends. These responses have not been included for privacy of those who made them.
Greek life was not specifically asked about in the Covid-19 survey but was brought up in some of the free response questions. The concerns brought by students were about nightlife and fraternity parties. Other free response questions shared the view that members of greek life are not solely responsible for the spread of Covid-19 on the university’s campus. These responses have been paraphrased for the privacy of those who made them.
The purpose of this report is to express the student experience as it is lived right now. We hope that through these data points and student quotes we have been able to demonstrate life as a student and the effects that Covid-19 has had on our community. Students are expressing their concerns, laying out the hardships they face and are trusting not only SGA but administrators to do something. We hope that through collaborative efforts we can work in order to help the UTK community right now.
This report was completed by the 2020-2021 SGA Executive Cabinet and the 2020-2021 External Relations Team.