Today's Update: Thursday, February 11

February 11, 2021

Dear Student Life Team, “How are you doing?”  

It’s a simple question, but it carries a message of caring and compassion. It also asks for important information. 

That’s why over winter break Student Life once again led an effort to place phone calls to all first-year students, checking in with them and gauging their impressions of life at Ohio State so far. Students were asked questions like, “How was your fall semester?” and “How excited do you feel about spring semester?” In addition to a general check-in, callers provided information about resources the student asked about and those they perceived the student may need.  

More than 9,000 calls were made by 225 Student Life and other university team members during the first two weeks of January. If there was no answer to the phone call, they followed up with an email.  

The responses were very encouraging. When talking about how fall semester went, callers put 78% of students in the “positive” category. Only 3% of students had a negative response to the question. When discussing whether students felt excited about spring semester, 76% were described as excited or very excited. Only 1% were categorized as “not at all excited.” And 96% indicated they were planning to return to Ohio State this coming autumn.  

Students were also asked about ways the university could enhance their Ohio State experience this semester. Their answers fell into a number of themes, but no area dominated the others.  

  • Studying or tutoring resources (12%)  

  • Social or emotional support (11%) 

  • Academic advising assistance (7%)  

  • Financial support (5%)  

  • Career assistance (4%)  

  • General wellness needs (not mental health services) (4%)  

  • Mental health services (3%) 

I am especially pleased with the things they said to our callers. Here are just a few of the comments recorded:  

“This student absolutely loved his experience at Ohio State during the Autumn Quarter. He said that it was a great environment for learning and didn't know if it was because of the online classes, but his professors were great at responding right way and thoroughly by email. He said this was his best semester since attending community college. He said on a scale of one to five that his experience this fall was a six....and on multiple occasions he said he loved his experience. This was his first semester at Ohio State.” 

“She was in great spirits and excited to return. Also spoke to her mom who said it was so nice we are calling to check in.” 

“She said that ‘OSU has been really good to her’ and that fall semester went better than she expected.” 

I want to thank everyone in Student Life and our partners across campus who made all these phone calls. I appreciate the effort, and our students appreciate having the university reach out to them to find out how they are doing. It was a Scarlet and Great project.