Marketers banned and students react to university surveys

Although Georgia State students have received correspondence from survey opportunities, outside marketers are being barred from emailing students.

Teresa Ward, Center for Higher Education Research and Analytics director, said surveys and studies are no longer given out to marketers and that student emails are server protected.

“They protected the student email addresses because students were receiving much spam and so many surveys that the university wasn’t aware that students were getting really irritated with having every marketer in the United States contacting them more,” she said.

Georgia State’s Office of Institutional Research approves and schedules surveys within the university based on its effectiveness and efficiency. They also educate researchers on procedures pertaining to their area of interest, according to the office’s website.

Another survey advisory body within Georgia State is the Institutional Review Board (IRB). It has the responsibility of protecting the safety of human subjects, according to University Research Services & Administration website.

Within the board there is IRIS, a human research protocol management system, which was copyrighted from 2001-2014, according to the website

Training, tutorials and guides about the system is provided by through the university, according to the website.

Despite marketers being restricted from emailing student emails, Georgia State’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness can administer exit surveys and national surveys through student emails for engagement and planning purposes.

“For example, [there is an] exit survey that [they] do with students to see [how] their academic experience was at the university,” Ward said. “That is important for the administration and the department.”

A transportation/bicycling survey and Experimental Economics Center Experiment Recruiter (EXCEN) emails have been sent to students as well. EXCEN, Georgia State’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies experiment recruiter, uses experimental data to develop economic theory, according to its website.

Prospective participants have to sign up on the EXCEN website and can receive monetary compensation for participation.

The transportation and bicycling survey was distributed by John Steward, the principal investigator and member of the School of Public Health. It was approximately 15 minutes and was sent to students, faculty and administration, according to the email broadcast.

Clubs like National Honor Society and majors such as journalism also send out surveys through emails as well.

Students’ opinions about surveys


Nathaly Kerba, Journalism major and Junior

Q: Have you heard about any surveys at Georgia State?

A: No

Q: How frequently do you check your email?

A: I check it a few times a week. Maybe like three or four times a week.

Q: If you did you hear about a survey, would you participate?

A: I think it depends on what the topic is focusing on.

Q: Specifically what type of topic?

A: I think if it was something that helps and was like a student led survey that’s only for class. I’ve done those before to try to help out. But generally if something that I don’t really care that much about then I just don’t.

Natalie Allen, Journalism Major, Sophomore

Q: Have you received any students? And where from?

A: Yes I have. Walking through here and they stop me and say “Can you take the survey?” and I say yes.

Q: Have you gotten any through emails?

A: No and if I have I don’t answer them.

Q: When you are approached to do a survey do you do it? What determines you decision?

A: If I have a class I don’t but if I am not busy I always try to do the surveys usually because it is an easy way to support who is asking me.

Q: How do you feel about being approached for surveys?

A: I am not offended by it. I think its a very smart way to get student opinion. If you don’t do it then you have nothing to complain over and I like to complain.

Q: Specifically what types of surveys do you feel comfortable with or like answering?

A: I don’t like it when surveys have strictly yes or no or maybe have like three question because that tells me what’s the point…

Q: Why don’t you answer email surveys?

A: I don’t really check my school email.

Q: How often do you check it?

A: Like every two weeks. Something like that.

Miles Jenson, Junior Journalism Major

Q: Have you received any student surveys?

A: No.

Q: Do you check your email?

A: Fairly frequently. I have my Georgia State email hardwired into my Gmail so I have a bunch of emails.

Q: You haven’t gotten any emails about surveys?

A: Yeah. I remember seeing some survey emails.

Q: What makes you want to fill out one of those surveys?

A: If it was about a topic that I feel like research needs to be done on and it needs to be prudent to making change then yeah. Some surveys I think are a little mundane.

Q: Can you give specific types of surveys?

A: Well. I am in a lifestyle and development class and in that class you can take surveys. There was one survey on there about a double standard between men and women on campus and like safety and stuff like that, which I think is important. I just heard some kids just got robbed at gun point on campus a while ago. So, I think that would be a good one to take maybe.

Q: Do you think surveys should have incentives through money or things like that? Why or why not?

A: I guess it would depend on the incentive. If its money, its a pretty universal thing that every one wants. But if its like a different type of goal, then only certain students would take that certain survey. So it would thwart the objectivity of the survey its self.

Q: How do feel about being approached in person or through email about a survey?

A: I don’t think its terribly invasive. There hasn’t been a flood of them. I don’t feel bothered or anything.