What Do You Think? A Comprehensive Assessment

By Kelsie Buchner, Justin Gray, and Others.

        In order to determine what the students and faculty of Olympic College of 2007 know about Hank Blass’ mosaic, we put together a survey. Our survey covered certain topics that we believed would give us a better idea of the over all attitude toward the mosaic. After surveying 125 students and 14 staff and faculty members we were left with some interesting results.

        As for overall knowledge of the mosaic and the situation at hand, 93% of the staff and faculty know about the process the administration is undertaking to either conserve or demolish the piece of art. In contrast, only 50% of the students of Olympic College are aware of the project.

        If the administration decides that they will put forth the funds to save the mosaic, we thought it would be important to know who is willing to help. We found that many of our fellow Olympians are eager to participate in the restoration. About 75% of the staff and faculty and 58% of the students pledged their support.

        Overall appreciation of the mosaic was found through a question asking personal opinions on the attractiveness or hideousness of the Hank Blass’ work of art. We found that 52% of the polled people stated that it is beautiful, 28% defined its beauty as average, 6.4% think it is unattractive and 24.8% did not care. Public opinion suggests that the mosaic should be saved and strategically placed on or in the newly constructed math and science facility. Other suggestions include, placement on the art building, library, as a walkway somewhere on campus or placed in downtown Bremerton because of its important in the history of Kitsap County art.

        We personally feel that many of the students and staff aren’t aware of the background and struggle involved in the history and construction of the artwork. Understanding of the mosaic’s story, meaning and importance may be lacking. If an educational seminar was given, we think that preservation would be more important in the eyes of the student body and might increase public support. We come to this conclusion because our data states that almost 50% of students do not even know the mosaic exists. It is encouraging to know that of the 139 students and faculty surveyed, that over 73% are willing to lend a hand. The mosaic’s future is in our hands.


Survey Analysis

By Kyle Poss

        I will discuss 46 individual responses to surveys on campus. The first group I looked at was those of staff and faculty. There were 14 surveys collected marked either staff or faculty. Of all the groups, this group is the easiest to summarize. This group had the least amount of outliers and seemed to be stating the same thing. Twelve (85%) declared that the mosaic was beautiful and worth saving regardless of the cost. Reasons listed were, for example, “Olympic college needs as much artwork as possible”; “the mosaic is an intricate part of OC’s history and should be saved”; “history is an important part of any endeavor”; “I appreciation of the intricacy of its design”. 92% of the faculty/staff were aware of the mosaic’s possible destruction, and 92% said that they would be willing to help in the actual preservation process. The small percent of the faculty/staff population (14%) that did not believe the mosaic to be beautiful were also not willing to help in the process of saving the mosaic. These members shared similar comments such as “I don’t care what happens to it as long as it doesn’t hold up the construction of the new humanities building”; “it should be moved away from all possible progress.”

        For the staff as a whole, it could be said that they are very (if not the most) adamant about the mosaic’s preservation. And if they could have one condition, it would be that the mosaic doesn’t slow down the progress of OC’s construction.

        The second group of surveys I analyzed was from students who had never thought about the mosaic. This group consisted of 32 surveys. This group is harder to come to a single opinion but some interesting statistics emerged. Only 32% of the students who completed the survey were aware prior to the survey that OC had a mosaic and it was in danger of being destroyed. 78% of the students said that if the mosaic was to be torn down they would not miss it. 43% of those who finished the survey said they are willing to save the mosaic. Of these 32 students who had never thought about the mosaic, the most revealing questions are numbers five and six. (Question #5: Is the mosaic an integral part of OC? And Question #6: Is the mosaic an integral part of Kitsap County history?) To question five, almost 8 out of 10 (78.9%) answered yes. And to question #6 only 18% answered yes. Some interesting comments made by these students are “I think that destroying this work would be an insult to the artist”; “I don’t really know anything about it, so I can’t really say either way”; “I would die for it”; “I am here temporarily and only walk to the places I need to go, most people probably feel this way”; “I don’t care if the mosaic is torn down or not.”

        What all of this information tells me is that most of our students are willing to save the mosaic, but few of them have the necessary information to make their decision, also that there is a small group in our student population that neither care nor are interested in any attempts to save the mosaic.