Harvard University owns a huge property which is not developed in Allston, across the Charles River and most of it in the University campus. The main motto of the Allston initiative is to focus on the growth of number of students who can rent these undeveloped properties from Harvard. The mission of HRES now is to create and design a survey by drawing lessons from a 2001 survey. These lessons will deliver information which helps in deciding on how well these undeveloped properties can attract Harvard students and how well they will be able to compete with the private homes.
The challenge for HRES is on how to create and design a campus housing survey for graduate students that optimizes an equilibrium of price, locality and community space. It is also very difficult to foresee and predict future desirable homes by using a current student survey.
The capability of getting a high response rate is the key challenge for HRES survey. However the 2001 survey has a few pros and cons which are as follows: The survey leaves a first impression that it is too long, though it is rationally perfect. The aim of the survey was to include each and every situation, but it becomes very specific and comparatively takes more time than “20 minutes” as mentioned in the survey instrument. For questions which are too specific and particular to answer, students should concentrate more, read those options carefully and check the difference. For instance the question which asks to specify “current privately owned house”, it takes a while to check for options like “single family private house market”, “multiple family private house market” and “favorable deal for a room in a house”. In addition to these, for questions which deal with satisfaction and happiness ratings, it is time consuming to differentiate the emotion for each of those specific options. In spite of all these, the survey follows a sectional sequence and has a well-organized order of the challenging questions. It also includes a few important elements like the amount of time taken to travel to the University and the price of the rent paid for the housing. Majority of the residents prefer walking from housing to the campus. The idea of improving a single dorm room to a one bedroom apartment or a studio and the idea of double-studio which is a combination of a dorm and an apartment were considered. The student’s basic mentalities and expressions were well recognized and skimmed. The survey follows a descriptive design focusing on factors like insights and effectiveness. As a result, these elements and outcomes can be combined together to conclude that the structure and planning of the survey is even. Simple and straight forward questions are placed in the beginning of the survey, as they require less thought process. Most importantly, questions related to personality and demography are placed at the end to make the person taking the survey feel relaxed. Scaling was given a great importance because it followed the same pattern and consistency throughout the survey, not to confuse the students and obtain suitable responses. The participant emotionally feels that the survey designer is skillful, considering everybody.