A group of Siena students got a first-hand look at the town of Colonie through their “Town of Colonie Quality of Life Survey.” Completed jointly with the Siena College Research Institute (SRI), the 13 students in this community based- research course spoke with Town of Colonie residents to assess the quality of life in the town. The students, none of which originally live in Colonie, got to know how residents really feel about the town they live in.
Taught by SRI Director, Don Levy, Ph.D., the course worked to investigate the concepts of community, social justice, change and development. Partnering with the Town of Colonie, students surveyed residents on a variety of different topics, including: services, government, safety, taxes and education. Pete Cichetti, assistant director of the National Assessment of Service and Community Engagement (NASCE), also assisted with the semester-long class and project.
“All in all, the residents of Colonie seem quite happy with life here in the town, especially regarding goods and services, the job done by public safety officers, the amount they pay in taxes, the quality of the schools and the library, and the job done by local elected officials,” said social work major Emma Henderschedt ’19.
In order to gather responses for their survey, students utilized the Siena Research Institute facilities. The sampling was done via a stratified multi-frame probability sample of both landline and cell phone telephone numbers from Survey Sampling International. In addition to being trained to conduct phone interviews, the 13 students also went out in the community to speak with residents about what they feel needs to be changed or improved in the town.
The students met with Town Supervisor, Paula Mahan, to compare notes and discuss steps that can be taken to resolve some of the issues that residents voiced concerns about.
As a conclusion to their semester-long project, the students presented their findings in a Community Forum at the William K. Sanford Colonie Town Library on April 25. Community members in attendance were fascinated by the survey’s results and excited by the possibility of furthering the research.
Through this course, the Saints had the opportunity to not only get to know the local community, but Siena’s Research Institute. SRI conducts regional, statewide and national surveys on business, economic, political, voter, social, academic and historical issues. Students who work at SRI gain experience in political science, computing, communications, sociology and psychology in a professional setting. To learn more about the Siena Research Institute, please visit Siena.edu/SRI
James Bascom ’18
Sinclair Bush ’17
Kelsey DelMastro ’18
Shadane Franklin ’18
Katherine Gravante ’17
Emma Henderschedt ’19
Kiana Hoftiezer ’18
Monique Lawrence ’19
Gordon MacCammon ’18
Fanta Cheriff Sissoko ’17
Gabrielle Tegiacchi ’18
Jordan Thompson ’18
Iyana Ashby ’19