Wednesday, June 1, 2011

K students, how often do you leave the bubble?

A study conducted by students in the Business Statistics class has revealed interesting findings about the travelling habits of K College students. On average, K students gather in a group of four to get off campus 8 times every two weeks. During that period of time, each student spends roughly $13.3 on transportation (about 13% of their pocket money).

Why?Among the top reasons why students get off campus, eating out (5 times a month) is by far the most popular, followed by parties (weekly), shopping (3 times a month) and volunteer work (twice a month). Nearly 92% of the survey respondents said they have gone out to eat at least once during the last two weeks. While students appear to party more often than doing shopping, the percentage of people who go shopping is actually higher with 78% versus 71%. Bars and clubs do not seem to be a good idea for parties since only one third of the respondents have visited such place in the last two week. This happens to be equal with the student participation rate in volunteer activities.

Where? For many K students, Crow’s Nest and Burdicks have been familiar names beside Panera, Qdoba or Saffron, etc when it comes to dining out. About 27% of the respondents claim Crow’s Nest to be their favorite restaurant and 13.6% chose Burdicks. There is less variation for shopping locations with Meijer (41%), Crossroad Mall and Target being the most visited addresses. Finally, if you want to chill out at a bar or club, visit Metro, Beer Exchange and Waldo’s since you are more likely to come across a few friends.

When? Friday and Saturday after 4PM are not surprisingly the time students get off campus most often. Generally speaking, more than half of the students leave campus on Friday (50.61%) and Saturday (55.43%) around midnight. It is noticeable that students get off campus on Monday from 4 to 7PM as much as they do at the same time on Saturday (34.94%).

Shuttle service & Bike renting

The study looks at how K students support a shuttle service to the airport, the train station and common places off campus in relation to their travelling habits. While nearly 43% of the students drive their own cars to get off campus and 62% ask friends for a ride or borrow a friend’s car, more than 77% of the population want a school bus service to common places off campus. Only 11% use bus, which suggests that the bus system at K might not be highly accessible to the students. They also expressed their willingness to pay $1.58 per round-trip if such a shuttle were provided. It is interesting that though 35% of the students took a plane to travel outside Kalamazoo over Winter quarter and Spring break, only 32% would like to use a school airport shuttle. Bus service to train station receives much more support at 55%.

About 66% of you might have known about the “Borrow a bike” program at DeWater yet only 12% have ever used the service. Among 34% of those who do not know about the program, a big proportion of 76% indicated that they would consider renting a bike. This once again suggests that students need more accessible means of transportation to get around and become better involved in the K community.

Given such information about the students’ travelling habits, the school government could consider implementing an efficient program that would meet the student need and encourage them to enjoy off-campus life.

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