Air Force Academy survey shows mix of progress, problems
August 14, 2010
AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colorado – A survey of Air Force Academy cadets showed progress on religious tolerance and other issues but found some minority cadets feel less accepted than other groups, school officials said.
Academy officials released a summary of some of the findings on Thursday. Unlike previous years, detailed survey results weren’t released, and it’s not clear whether they will be.
The anonymous, voluntary surveys have been conducted every other year since 2005. About 4,000 cadets, faculty and staff at the school took the most recent version last December and January.
Lt. Gen. Mike Gould, the academy superintendent, said analyzing the survey results is “still a work in progress.”
Gould said the survey showed most cadets, faculty and staff feel valued, supported and welcome and gave the work and learning environment a positive rating.
He said religious discrimination no longer appears to be a significant complaint.
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It became a sensitive issue at the academy when a 2004 survey, which predated the current biennial survey – found many cadets heard slurs or jokes about other religions and that some felt ostracized because they weren’t religious.
The 2009-10 survey found that cadets tend to ignore disparaging remarks about race and religion instead of confronting the offender, and more cadets said they wouldn’t turn in a fellow cadet for underage drinking, even though the honor code obligates them to.
“It’s understandable as we emphasize ‘teamwork, teamwork, teamwork,’ and then we say, ‘But there’s a line, and you need to turn your buddy in if he’s violating the Honor Code or breaking rules that cause harm,”‘ Gould said.
“It’s about accountability, and it’s about upholding standards,” he said.
Academy spokesman Dave Cannon said no decision has been made about whether any more results will be released.