How to Use the Guide

Overview

Although the best way to learn about MITís various living groups is to meet and speak with their residents, some important questions are difficult to ask. As LGBTQ students, we often want to know if we will feel comfortable and accepted in a living group, but the very act of asking about LGBTQ topics may out us or expose us in uncomfortable ways to people we do not yet know well. We hope that this guide will serve as a starting point to help students gauge the campusís LGBT-friendliness and choose a living group.

The Summarized Results provide an ďat a glanceĒ look at the data for each living group as well as an overview of the campus-wide results. The Long Results include hundreds of comments about the living groups, more information about the distribution of responses to questions, further detail on language use, and, when possible, break down the data for particular halls/entries/cultural houses/floors within large living groups.

Comments

The comments may be the most helpful part of the guide. Although the printed guide includes only selected quotes that are representative of many comments or that show diversity of opinion or reasons for strange scores, this website includes almost all of the comments submitted, as the sheer volume of comments for some living groups is telling. Although the survey stated that comments might be published in the guide, we excluded or censored a few quotes that seemed private and a few quotes that seemed irrelevant to helping students gauge the LGBTQ-friendliness of living groups.

Understanding the Calculations

Response rates and averages for each living group were calculated by combining relevant data from the respondents who listed the living group as their official residence as well as those who listed it as their additional affiliation. Percentages may not add to 100% due to rounding errors.

The standard deviations found in the long results section provide a measure of how well people in a single living group agreed with each other. If a score has a very small (<.75) standard deviation, most members agreed. If the standard deviation is very large (>2), then there was much more variation (often including scores at both extremes), perhaps due to differing perceptions of the same environment, the presence of sub-communities within the larger living group, or other factors.

Respondents were asking both to rate their own comfort with LGBTQ persons and to rate their perception of their living groupís comfort. Comparing the standard deviations between the personal and group questions may be helpful. If a group has high scores in both group and personal scores but has higher standard deviations in the personal than the group scores, there may be individuals in the group who are personally uncomfortable with LGBTQ persons, but recognize that the living group is generally accepting. Conversely, higher standard deviations in the group scores may indicate differing standards about what constitutes an accepting environment.

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