Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

New polling center seeks residents’ views

Dustin Vickers

UTSA introduced a new Center for Public Opinion Research (CPOR) to understand what issues are most important to San Antonio residents. The reason behind the new polling center is to gauge the ideas, principles and priorities of people who live within the city. 

The research center is located at UTSA College of Liberal and Fine Arts (MS 3.02.49). The center’s three objectives are to conduct quality opinion polling among San Antonio residents, use sample vending to support internal and external research goals and provide UTSA students with learning opportunities with transferable skills. 

Bryan Gervais, CPOR director and associate professor of the UTSA Department of Political Science and Geography, said, “This is a full-scale academic public opinion research center that can produce localized polls that represent the major concerns and issues faced by San Antonio and Bexar County residents.” 

Gervais added that, “We looked at a lot of survey research centers and polling institutes across the county that were housed in academic settings as models, and we identified two elements that were going to be particularly useful to us: service to the university and service to the community.”

The CPOR intends to assemble a local panel comprising thousands of Bexar County residents. The collected samples will be shared with other researchers and organizations interested in better understanding residents. 

“The panel will be crucial,” Gervais said. “It will enable us to provide samples and conduct polls at a fraction of the cost required for a standard survey, where you are recruiting respondents from scratch every time.”

Students will conduct phone surveys on different topics. The center aims to hire and train over two dozen student workers each year. 

“Students are going to be central to everything we do here,” Gervais said. “This type of hands-on learning will make them more competitive in the job market.” 

Jon Taylor, professor and chair of the Department of Political Science and Geography, noted that having a research center at UTSA has been a dream of his. 

“There is no one south of San Antonio doing public opinion polling, and the thought behind this for us is [that] we have a real opportunity to measure public opinion not only in the San Antonio metro area but, much like our counterparts in Houston and Austin, to measure public opinion throughout the state,” Taylor said.

 “You look at a city like Houston, which is served by high-quality longitudinal studies like the Greater Houston Community Panel,” Gervais reiterated. “Due to a lack of polling infrastructure here, organizations, agencies and researchers have had to rely on sub-standard survey practices to study San Antonio area residents. We want to change that. San Antonio deserves to have a center like this, and it should have a center like this.”

To learn more about UTSA’s new polling center, visit their website. 

To learn more about the new polling, check out the UTSA Today article.

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About the Contributors
Kara Lee
Kara Lee, Graphic Editor
Kara is a communication major on track to graduate in 2025. After graduating they hope to work for non-profits that specialize in environmental concerns so they can give back to the planet that provides so much for us. When Kara is not in school or working they can be found either drawing or hiking.
Dustin Vickers
Dustin Vickers, Photo Editor
Dustin (He/Him) is a third-year medical humanities major with a concentration in health careers. After graduation, he plans on attending medical school in hopes of becoming an emergency radiologist. When he’s out of the classroom, he is helping run the swim club with his co-president, blasting some sick beats, or looking for a good spot to grub.

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