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COMBO IV survey delayed again, now indefinitely

The Undergraduate Student Government team coordinating the publication of the Committee on Background and Opportunity IVreports has experienced further obstacles in its work with data analysis, according to USG president Shawon Jackson ’15.

The release date was set for April as of the last update, but has been postponed indefinitely until the data analysis has been corroborated with campus administrators, and a policy recommendation has been worked out by U-Councilor and COMBO IV project leader Jameil Brown ’16. In total, the release of the Combo IV survey results has been delayed for almost a year.

Brown did not respond to requests for comment.

The fourth installment of the report, which was created to find relationships between a student’s ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation and his or her experience on campus,was originally scheduled to be released before fall break in 2013 butwas first postponed to before winter break. Due to delays in data analysis, Brown rescheduled the project’s deadline to April 1so that the results could be presented at the Council of the Princeton University Community’s meeting in May of this year.

“In terms of the report we were hoping to publish last semester, the reason why we were unable to publish it then is that we realized that there was an error with our data analysis and the wrong tests were run by our data analysts,” Jackson said.

He added that, upon discussing with campus administrators the tentative report they had back in the spring, a decision was made to postpone the deadline for the COMBO IV reports and move forward with a different set of data analyses.

David Zhou ’16, one of three data analysts hired by Brown to work on the COMBO IV project, noted that the task for the data analysts was to obtain the data files from the student surveys and analyze their significance. The surveys consisted of about 100 questions and were stratified among different demographic groups in the University.

Zhou added that none of the policy recommendations and conclusions had been shared with him.

The COMBO III report detailed specific information regarding student life, including a near equal split between religious and non-religious students, a disproportionate amount of students from wealthier backgrounds, and over a third of students developing mental health issues upon coming to the University.

In a previous interview with The Daily Princetonian, Brown noted that critics of the COMBO II report stated that while the report showed problem areas for students coming from different backgrounds, it failed to provide any adequate solutions. As such, Brown had said that COMBO IV would be more comprehensive than COMBO III and include a policy recommendation.

Once finalized, the report and the policy recommendations are expected to circulate among faculty, staff and students.

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