Thanks for asking. I really appreciate the opportunity to provide clarification that will allow this student to complete her course assignment while still allowing us to follow policies.
We don't allow students to send out surveys to the entire campus, so we don't provide email contact information for requests like this, nor should the registrar. The reason is that we get requests like these every week, and too many surveys affect everyone's willingness to complete surveys, which means when we have mission - critical surveys required for institutional use or accreditation, we may fail to reach the needed response rates, and that is a jeopardy for the university.
We have found that it's quite possible for a student to complete her research requirement for a class by sending her survey to a self-selected pool of students she recruits herself, by contacting students in her class or other venues, or by putting an ad in the Daily Update or in a poster. It's unnecessary to do a full population or sample study, when only a critical mass is needed to be able to complete the statistical analysis for a class assignment. Typically, if a student posts an ad or recruits among people she knows, she can easily get 40-60 responses, and for a stats class, that is sufficient to run the analysis.
Additionally, it is really important to ask the question, "Was this approved by IRB?" Because even when a survey is deemed mission-critical, our office and the Registrar are in violation of human subjects protective laws if we send out contact information for research-purposes, if it hasn't yet been determined whether IRB approval is needed and obtained.
Jennie Robinson Kloos, Ph.D.