Update on Project Activities
This week, we had a conference call with our two partners to finalize our survey instrument. We also are in the works of having our survey translated into Spanish which will be completed by this weekend. In order to gain a better assessment on which method (in person survey, online form, paper copy) the survey is best conducted, we each went out to run some tests.
This week we also confirmed our target population and have been working with Friends of Caltrain and Working Partnerships on securing organizations that would be willing to help us. So far we have the following organizations lined up to distribute surveys on our behalf next week: Services, Immigrant Rights & Education Network (SIREN), Watercourse Way, Philz Coffee (Middlefield/Facebook and Forest Sites). We also have a verbal agreement from the on-campus student organization Habla that they will help distribute our survey to their class.
Here are details about the organizations that are willing to assist us and the links to their website where we found their mission statements and information:
Services, Immigrant Rights & Education Network (SIREN) has a mission to empower low-income immigrants and refugees in Santa Clara County through community education and organizing, leadership development, policy advocacy and naturalization services. They believe that all people regardless of legal status or nationality are entitled to essential services, human dignity, basic rights and protections, and access to full participation in society.
Watercourse Way is a Bath House Spa that opened in Palo Alto, CA in 1980.
Philz Coffee is a coffee company that has store locations across the nation. Philz prides itself on bettering people’s days whether that be through their amazing cups of coffee or great customer service.
Habla is a Stanford student-run organization whose mission is to empower adult workers on campus through English-language literacy and conversational skills. Under the guidance of English teacher Sara Tevis, the program is founded on one-on-one tutoring sessions between students and workers. In addition to tutoring, Habla seeks to connect the student and the janitorial communities at Stanford.
What We Observed and Learned
During testing we learned a lot. The major thing that stuck out to use was the great need for a survey written in Spanish. At the time of testing, our Spanish survey was not completed so we had to make do with only the English version. Although the survey takers were able to complete the survey, they mentioned that a Spanish survey would have sped up the process and would have been easier to understand.
Another thing we noted that we did not expect was that the survey took longer than we expected. One of our team members also expressed how they were a little uncomfortable just standing there waiting for the respondent to finish the survey. This could have put pressure on the respondent to speed through the survey and not really answer the questions fully.
We learned that survey distributing is no joke. It takes a lot of back end work to really fine tune the questions to be as unbiased and concise as possible. Then making sure the participant is comfortable and understands the questions is another hurdle. We are currently identifying ways to overcome these obstacles and make the survey collection easier and comfortable for both parties.
Critical Analysis/Moving Forward
Some of the ways we plan on easing the survey gathering process are currently underway. We will soon have a finalized Spanish survey set up and will also create a Spanish online survey. We are also going to try and avoid the one on one paper survey method as it creates an invisible wall between the survey taker and the conductor. Instead, we will try and do all of our one on one surveys through verbal communication. We will read out the questions and mark them as we go along. We will however, not ask the demographic questions out loud and instead hand over the survey instrument to them so that they can fill it out anonymously. In larger group settings, like when we conduct the survey through Habla or SIREN, it makes sense that all respondents take the survey at the same time and proctors just stand to the side. It is important that we note that all responses are confidential and will only be used to help determine a fare integration need.
Moving forward, we hope to get responses from 200 individuals who work and live around the Santa Clara District. While a lot of the surveys will be conducted through partnering organizations, we will still be collecting surveys on the ground. We will go around Stanford’s campus asking custodians, kitchen staff, and gardeners if they can spare a few minutes to help us gather data. Additionally, we will be going out to different transit stations to survey individual riders. Adina and Charise are determining which stations would be our best bet at getting a representative sample and will let us know on our next meeting.
Our next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 17th at Working Partnerships in San Jose. There we will discuss our initial test survey findings and coordinate survey distribution amongst our partnering organizations. Next week, we hope to get 100 surveys completed and make it out to different transit stations to survey. We will also start our website design and begin drafting our literature review for the final report.