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CSULB Students Ripped off by Marketing Company

by Enraged Student Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2005 at 11:04 AM

"Brailsford & Dunlavey is not a polling company, interested in providing an unbiased sampling. They are a facility planning company that profits from providing “market and financial analyses, architectural programming, business planning, referendum management, and other pre-implementation services” for moving the construction process to fruition. On their website, www.facilityplanners.com, Brailsford & Dunlavey states, “B&D equips clients with the data and tools needed to navigate confidently from dream to reality.” Ironically B&D has acted as a Public-Relations firm for building the Rec Center on CSULB. Neither B&D nor the Pollock administration have shown interest in providing an honest “feasibility Analysis” or a “Preliminary Assessment” like B&D claims on its website, after continually milking CSULB for more money."

CSULB Students Rippe...
brail.gif, image/gif, 299x100

‘Recreation Center’ Survey Flawed, Rigged

By Jeb Sprague and Elisa Herrera

Either by mistake or by design, the “Student Recreation Needs Assessment,” which was supposed to be sent to the e-mail accounts of all of CSULB’s nearly 35,000 students was embedded with HTML programming that has prevented many students from submitting a survey that opposed the Rec Center and increased student tuition.

According to a report in the Daily Forty-Niner, “ASI e-mailed a school-wide online survey,” which, in the words of AS President Jamie Pollock, “gives every single student a voice” (Oct. 10). However some students were barred from receiving the notification via e-mail and were consequently barred from taking the survey. Students who have in the past checked off during enrollment at my.csulb.edu that they did not want corporate solicitation, for example, did not receive the survey. At the Oct. 5th ASI Senate meeting, two of twenty Senators revealed that they never received an e-mail about the survey, and they were given no reason as to why they were excluded. Many other students have since come forward about not receiving e-mail notification.

Even if students who did not know about the survey found out about it through other means, they were still prevented from participating in the survey. Students who went directly to the survey URL and tried to log in were told that their information was invalid. If 10% of the Senate alone was excluded, there is no telling how much of the general student population was similarly silenced. Why is ASI breaking its promise to “give every single student a voice?”

If limiting student participation in the survey was not bad enough, the survey itself was programmed to make it next to impossible for students using Macintosh computers to indicate that they do not want a recreation center. To put things in perspective, seven of the fourteen computer models available for purchase in the University Bookstore are Macs.

Over halfway through the survey, students were provided two proposals for a Recreation Center: Option A, which would increase student tuition by 0-0 a year and Option B, which would increase student tuition by 0-0 a year. In relation to this, Question 17 of the survey asked, “If you had to select one option, which option would you choose?” Three options were provided, “Option A, Option B, and Neither”. When clicking on “Neither,” the survey immediately erased all the questions below, including the SUBMIT button which would allow the vote to be entered and tabulated. This was tested on multiple Macintosh machines using the Safari Internet browser, all with the same result. Safari is the Internet browser that comes with Mac and is recommended by Mac.com.

No disclaimer stated that Macintosh or Safari users would be unable to utilize the survey. During the first few days of the survey, when most students voted, the help link on the survey page was inaccessible.

Phone calls to Brailsford & Dunlavey (the “independent and unbiased” firm that ASI paid approximately ,000 to conduct the survey) at their Washington, DC and Berkeley offices initially went unanswered, but then after calling back they were unable to provide adequate information. Why is the survey programmed to malfunction if a student indicates they do not want a Rec Center?

In addition to barring students from logging in to the survey and preventing students from submitting opinions against the Rec Center, the survey is plagued with language that is structured to mislead students into providing data in support of a recreation center. The survey failed to mention the total cost of a recreation center and neglected to offer a litany of other options that additional funding could be used for on campus. Also the survey failed to mention that many departments are practically dying on the vine from budget cuts, while student organizations struggle for funding.

Brailsford & Dunlavey is not a polling company, interested in providing an unbiased sampling. They are a facility planning company that profits from providing “market and financial analyses, architectural programming, business planning, referendum management, and other pre-implementation services” for moving the construction process to fruition. On their website, www.facilityplanners.com, Brailsford & Dunlavey states, “B&D equips clients with the data and tools needed to navigate confidently from dream to reality.” Ironically B&D has acted as a Public-Relations firm for building the Rec Center on CSULB. Neither B&D nor the Pollock administration have shown interest in providing an honest “feasibility Analysis” or a “Preliminary Assessment” like B&D claims on its website, after continually milking CSULB for more money.

In response to ASI’s long history of supporting the Rec Center, the CSULB Coalition to Stop the Million Recreation Center was founded by students of Action in Defense of Education, African Student Union, Campus Progressives, La Raza Student Association, the Muslim Students Association, and non-affiliated students. Since then, Pro-Rec Center AS officers have struggled tirelessly to mute students who oppose raising fees in the midst of a budget and educational crisis. New members of ASI who do not approve of potentially pricing thousands of students out of an education just for the sake of duplicating recreational facilities are accused of “not representing their constituents.”

It seems that Pro-Rec Center AS officers believe that the only constituents that matter are the ones that agree with their own views. And now, the “independent” survey which was supposed to gather untainted, objective information about students’ opinions has been structured, in both design and implementation, to skew the results in favor of a recreation center. Why are CSULB students being forced to pay thousands of dollars for a farcical survey that excludes a large swathe of the student population?

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Jeb Sprague is a member of the CSULB Campus Progressives. Contact him at jebsprague@mac.com

Elisa Herrera is an AS Senator for the College of Education. Contact her at eherrer2@csulb.edu

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wow this is crazy I agree Saturday, Oct. 15, 2005 at 9:13 AM
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