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Mifflin Survey and Campus’s Response

February 8, 2012

This past fall, the Associated Students of Madison’s Legislative Affairs Committee sent out a survey to the entire student body in November asking a short series of questions about the Mifflin Street Block Party. The survey was initially created by members of the Legislative Affairs Committee, and then sent to the Mifflin West Neighborhood Association, Mark Woulf, the City’s Alcohol Policy Coordinator, Mike Verveer, District 4 Alder, and Scott Resnick, District 8 Alder for review. All revisions to the survey were taken into consideration and changes were made accordingly. In the past survey responses sent out by students at the University of Wisconsin – Madison have been under 1,000. However for this survey 7,038 students responded. This indicates the importance of the Mifflin Street Block Party to the UW-Madison student body. In addition there were 3,201 responses to the written portion of the survey that allowed students to suggest how they would like to see the Mifflin Street Block Party be improved.

Survey Questions
There were three sections of the survey with a total of ten questions. The first section asked student to indicate their year in school (Freshman, Sophomore etc.) and whether or not they attended the Mifflin Street Block Party last year. The second section of the survey asked students to indicate how strongly they agree or disagree with statements posed. Their options ranged from “Strongly Disagree” to “Disagree” to “Neither Agree nor Disagree” to “Agree” and finally “Strongly Agree.” The third and final section provided students with a space to write their own suggestions on how to improve the block party.

 Survey Section 1
Question #1 – “What year are you at UW-Madison?”

  • 7,038 people responded. (See Figure 1)

Question #2 – “ Did you attend the Mifflin Street Block Party last year?”

  • 7,028 people responded. 60% of the responses said that they attended the Mifflin Street Block Party last year. 40% did not. (See Figure 2)

Survey Section 2
Survey Participants were asked to “Please indicate how strongly you feel about each statement”

Question #3 – “I plan on attending this year’s Mifflin Street Block Party”

  • 78% agreed or strongly agreed with this statement*

Question #4 – The Mifflin Street Block Party is a necessary event”

  • 70% agreed or strongly agreed with this statement

Question #5 – “The main purpose of the Mifflin Street Block Party is to drink”

  • 54% agreed or strongly agreed with this statement

Question #6 – “Last year’s Mifflin Street Block Party was too out of control”

  • 30% agreed or strongly agreed with this statement

Question #7 – “People from outside of Madison caused the problems last year at the Mifflin Street Block Party”

  • 64% agreed or strongly agreed with this statement

Question #8 – “The Mifflin Street Block Party could go away completely and I would not be affected”

  • 69% disagreed or strongly disagreed with this statement

Question #8 – “I would be willing to attend meetings to help plan the Mifflin Street Block Party”

  • 21% agreed or strongly agreed with this statement

* These percentages were calculated by combining the percentage of responses that agreed AND strongly agreed with the statements. For Question #7, the same calculation was done but with the percentage of responses that disagreed AND strongly disagreed with the statement.

(See Figure 3 for a chart of this data)

Figure 3 – From Section 2 of the survey. Shows the responses by all survey participants for all seven questions in the second section of the survey.

Survey Section 3

Figure 4 – The first 20 of 3,201 written responses

Survey Breakdown by Year in School

Freshman
20% of the total respondents were freshman, which is roughly equivalent to their proportion in the student body. (See Figure 1) The general sense gathered from freshman responses is that despite not attending the block party last year, they have a strong desire to attend it this year (See Figure 5) and believe it is a necessary event. 91% said they plan on attending Mifflin this year, and 83% believe it is a necessary event. However only 13% though that Mifflin was out of control last year. In addition even though few current freshman were present at last years party, 83% said they would be affected if the party went away. Though Mifflin is often described as a place to binge drink, only 1/3 of freshman indicated that they thought the purpose of Mifflin was to drink. In fact, 40% said they did not think the purpose of Mifflin was to drink. (See Figure 6)


Figure 6 – Shows the responses of Freshman to all seven questions of Section 2 of the survey

Sophomore
24% of the total respondents were sophomores, which is roughly equivalent to their proportion in the student body. (See Figure 1) Significantly more sophomores attended Mifflin last year, with 82% saying they went. (See Figure 7) 85% said they plan on attending this year, and 75% believe that that the block party is a necessary event. More sophomores than freshman thought the purpose of Mifflin was to drink, with 51% saying they thought the purpose was to drink. Interestingly, only 24% said they thought Mifflin last year was out of control, yet 71% said they thought people from outside of Madison caused the problems. (See Figure 8)

Figure 8 – Shows the responses of sophomores to all questions of Section 2 of the survey

Junior
22% of the total respondents were juniors, which is roughly equivalent to their proportion in the student body. (See Figure 1) The statistics are very similar to sophomores with 79% saying they attended last year, (See Figure 9) 81% plan on attending this year, and 73% believe that Mifflin is a necessary event. (See Figure 10)

Figure 10 – Shows the responses of juniors to all questions of Section 2 of the survey

Senior
22% of the total respondents were seniors, which is roughly equivalent to their proportion in the student body. (See Figure 1) The statistics are very similar to sophomores with 74% saying they attended last year, (See Figure 11) 79% plan on attending this year, and 65% believe that Mifflin is a necessary event. (See Figure 12)

Figure 12 – Shows the responses of seniors to all questions of Section 2 of the survey

Grad/Other
12% of the total respondents were graduate or other, which is roughly equivalent to their proportion in the student body. (See Figure 1) Graduate student response differed significantly from the undergraduate answers. Only 28% said they attended last year, and 30% said they plan on attending this year. (See Figure 13) In addition 1/3 believe it is a necessary event, much less than undergraduates, however 76% believe the purpose is to drink. Perhaps this is why they do not believe Mifflin is a necessary event.  Half of Graduate students thought last year was out of control. However, only 36% said people from out of Madison caused the problems, much less than undergraduates. (See Figure 14)

Figure 14 – Shows the responses of graduate students or other to all questions of Section 2 of the survey

Written Responses
Of the over 3,000 written response, several common suggestions emerged. The first and most overwhelming suggestion focused on people from outside of Madison not being allowed in the Block Party. The second suggestion was to not allow drinking on the streets (open carry), the general sense was that this may have caused much of the chaos. Another suggestion was change the focus of the party from simply standing on the street and drinking to perhaps focus on music or other attractions. An additional suggestion was more practical to have an increased amount of port-a-potties. The last suggestion relayed the general sense of wanting increased safety.

Conclusion
Overall the sense from the student body is that they would like Mifflin Street Block Party to continue, that folks from outside of Madison caused the problems last year. In general the perceived solutions of eliminating open container carry, better attractions, and limiting people from outside of Madison at the block party can be a better, safer event.

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