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At the beginning of the month, I put out a call for participation from alumni, faculty, and staff who were at Bethel during the War on Terror. Today, I’d like to reiterate that call. This time however, I have an action item.
I’ve developed a survey to collect memories of responses from the War on Terror era, a survey that I’d like to see shared as widely as possible. Divided into sections on 9/11, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, some broad questions about the era as a whole, a section for veterans, and a final free-form section, the survey is designed to motivate thoughtful reflection on the events and passions of the early 2000s.
If that sounds like a lot, it is. But because I want to respect your time and personal boundaries, I do not expect answers to all of the questions. The survey is merely a tool to focus recollection and your choosing the most relevant or stimulating questions is entirely desired and expected.
If you were at Bethel during this time, I’d like to encourage you to respond to the survey. This kind of research is most fruitful with a large sample size. When that can be achieved, the results are almost always richer, more nuanced, and more stimulating of new directions in research than archival sources such as the Clarion student newspaper.
And in order to be most useful, I’m asking that surveys be returned by August 15th (although responses coming in after that date will still be used).
Finally, while responding to the survey authorizes Chris and I to make use of your responses for our project, I want to give you a measure of control over your personal information. To do this, the survey allows you to choose whether you would like us to anonymize your information or not. In other words, if you choose to anonymize your responses, I would remove your name and other closely personally identifying information. You might be described in the project as “a Bethel senior,” but no further identifying information would be released publicly.