Basic Needs survey aims to research student resources at NMSU and across the state


Santana Ochoa

Chamisa Hall is one of several apartment-style housing options available at New Mexico State.

At the end of March, a Basic Needs Survey went out to New Mexico State University studentsstaff and faculty. This survey was put into motion by a team of NMSU researchers composed of Dr. Stephanie Rogus, Meg Long, Dr. Lois StanfordDr. Katherine Courtney, and Erica Surova. 

Dr. Rogus, an assistant professor in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, said the survey was meant to gather data about food and housing security for students at NMSU. 

College students are more likely to be food and housing insecure, which means that maybe they don’t have the proper amount of money or financial resources to maintain stable housing or stable quantity and quality of good food,” Rogus said.  

The hope is to not only gather data from NMSU but from around the state Rogus noted. 

We don’t know what the situation is at NMSU and so we really wanted to understand it and also work with UNM because they also launched a survey, actually right when the pandemic hit, so we’ve been working with them to try and better understand what the college experience is with food and housing security across the state, Rogus said.  

The survey that was sent out was selected by Lois Stanford and was based on a survey created by another researcher. However, the NMSU team of researchers decided to add questions about NMSU staff and faculty.  

 “[Stanford] had wanted to do this Basic Needs Survey on campus that was developed by another researcher who was formerly at the University of Wisconsin,” Rogus said“We learned that there are a lot of staff and faculty that go to the Aggie Cupboard pretty regularly, so we wanted to include faculty and staff to better understand the situation among the entire NMSU community.” 

The results from the survey are not yet available, but they will be shared with NMSU by the end of the summer. 

“We’ll be working a lot more in-depth with the results this summer and we’re hoping to have, by the end of the summer, have something out to share with the university and to share more widely,” Rogus said. 

NMSU student Kaylee DerGergorian said she hopes that the results will be used to better NMSU and help students. 

“People take surveys on things all the time and do nothing with them. I would like to see NMSU doing something about students that have limited housing or doing something about students that can’t afford to eat, but we’ll see,” DerGergorian said. 

Dr. Rogus said he shares the same hope for how the results will be used. 

“The goal would be to share it with the university in hopes that they would take it and possibly do something with it. We’ll probably add recommendations based on what we’re finding in terms of potential policies or support that the university could provide students and staff and faculty, but ultimately, it’s up to the university but we hope to better inform them of what is going on. Hopefully, they’ll use it.” 

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