SGA to give students a VOICE

Jill Martin

Although choosing a professor can be a monumental task that affects a student for the next four months of his or her life, this decision can be made much easier by the Student Government Association’s reintroduction of the Villanova Online Instructor and Course Evaluations.

SGA President-elect and Vice President-elect Maureen Holland and Dan Sabo announced the revival of the online survey last week.

VOICE surveys are professor evaluations that give qualitative data regarding professors, complementing the quantitative data provided by CAT surveys.

Holland said, “Things like the way a professor runs his or her class or how he or she grades assignments or tests is important when choosing a class. VOICE surveys have space for student comments that are helpful for others when deciding what professor to take.”

Although CAT surveys have additional space for comments, many times students do not utilize it.

Also, when results from CAT surveys are posted on the Internet, any additional comments made by students are not posted.

Instead, only quantitative data are posted, which Holland said, “is not as helpful in that the numbers are often not as clear and are hard to decipher.”

VOICE surveys were originally distributed to classes, recollected and entered into the database by SGA. This process reaped complaints from professors that the information was entered incorrectly.

For this reason, VOICE surveys were discontinued in fall 2000. According to Holland, this process “would have taken huge efforts to revitalize.”

She continued, “It would be so time-consuming and this year’s SGA decided that it was not worth the effort because they wanted to make many improvements in other areas.”

Holland and Sabo chose to revive the VOICE surveys and change how the responses were collected. Now students can directly post professor evaluations on the Internet at

Holland said, “This eliminates SGA as the middle person in the process since there is no risk of us mistyping responses into the database.”

Freshmen Nick Weber and John Fiedler were responsible for formatting the new website and making it functional.

Of their efforts, Holland said, “I am so impressed with what they have done. Their web skills are top notch, and I’m looking forward to what else they have to offer SGA.”

Weber said, “Since this past weekend, we have had 800 or 900 users register. I think we could really make this a big thing and help people better pick their classes.”