Affinity Connection, a State College-based company aimed to serve non-profit organizations throughout the country, has created a survey for alumni, faculty, locals, fans and students regarding the future and rebuilding of Penn State.
Because of the controversy surrounding the community along with the release of former FBI Director Louis Freeh's investigative report into how Jerry Sandusky's child abuse was handled by Penn State administrators, the company felt compelled to create the survey to give the community an opportunity to share their opinions in an anonymous and secure way.
"We are trying to listen to the various groups that are affected in the community and we are trying to counterbalance and get the voice of the people of the community to be heard," said Greg Woodman, CEO of Affinity Connection.
Affinity Connection wanted to dig deeper into the ideals and core values of the community to figure out how the university can be revitalized and successful in the future.
"We are trying to figure out why there is such passion, love and identity tied to the college town," Woodman said. "We want to know what the original core values are that make you want to be a part of this community."
The survey is comprised of 15 questions ranging in subject from the strengths and weaknesses of the Penn State community to how the community should move forward.
"If the responses can contribute to a thoughtful and meaningful dialogue in the community, that's ideal," said Jodie Dello Stritto, Affinity Connection vice president of consulting services. "Everyone has an opinion, and with social media and comment boards, there are many venues for expressing yourself. We're trying to go a step further by seeking people's responses on specific issues, then making those responses available to the community in a clear, organized format."
So far, there have been over 400 surveys completed. Many students are looking forward to voicing their opinions regarding the reform of the university through the survey.
"I will take it because I think it is important to reform Penn State and move on," Pilar Guerrero (freshman-division of undergraduate studies) said.
The results of the study will be released sometime within the next four to six weeks once the survey is closed and Affinity Affairs has the chance to make a comprehensive compilation of the responses.
"I've used this process to help non-profit organizations that were facing significant challenges, and it's been extremely effective in helping them refocus their mission and messages, and realign with their stakeholders," Stritto said. "Listening to the people you exist to serve is powerful and can be exceptionally rewarding. Based on the responses we've gotten so far, I expect this survey to reveal valuable insights on moving the community forward."