Written by John Face
Photo by John Face
September 25, 2021
As the phone calls in the Albion area continued from Siena College many asked why a school in New York would care about doing a Poll regarding a local bond issue. For those who don’t know Marshall Public Schools has a bond issue on the ballot and a group from Siena College, at least that is what caller I.D. says who is calling, has been conducting a phone survey in the community. Many people have received different levels of information from the callers about who they are and in some cases had the caller hang up and those who completed the survey.
Victoria Garcia-Snyder the City of Albion’s Mayor, had a post on her Facebook page that caught the attention of this writer and I am sharing this with her permission:
“Things that make you go ‘Hmmmm’ – Got a message on my City Hall Line from Megan Crawford from Siena College. She stated that she heard that I had issues with my call last night and wanted to talk about the conversation.
How did you know that I had an issue?
How did you get either of my numbers?
How did you know that the Mayor of Albion received a call that ended abruptly with one of your callers?
Creepy and Bizarre!”
Snyder is entitled to be concerned by a call such as this. I have not been able to contact Ms. Crawford yet as I would like to know who the client is for this poll. The call that Ms. Crawford alludes to is a reference to this Facebook post from the Mayor:
“Ok, so I decided to finally pick up the call from Siena College. When I asked why it was important to confirm if my # was a personal cell # or not, she stated that she couldn’t ask me further questions…….WTF??”
City Watch NEWS became aware early on of a connection between Albion College and Siena College. Mathew Johnson the President at Albion is an alumnus of Siena and even had Dr. Donald Levy as a speaker at Johnson’s inauguration on September 18 in Albion. Levy is employed with Siena and apparently has a long professional history and friendship with Johnson.
The Phone Pollsters, Albion Style
In the fall of 2020 Albion College struggled to have classes on campus much the same as Colleges and Universities around the world but still pulled it off. The student body struggled as well due to the fact that many students who depended on earning extra money were not able to because of the pandemic restrictions.
Dr. Johnson came up with an idea and contacted his alma mater and reached out to Levy who is the Director of the Siena College Research Institute in New York. They head studies and polling in partnership with the New York Times and other media outlets.
Albion College purchased 50 lap tops that were then loaded with Siena programs that ran their polling software, it is unknown by this writer if Albion had to pay for the software. Then students were recruited to do telephone polling for the New York Times who was the client of Siena and Siena sub-contracted with Albion College and paid the college and students for their services. The students benefitted from this agreement, which is good, but this does show a direct link between Siena polling and Albion College.
Now what is unknown by this writer is what happened to the laptops once the polling contract was completed. They may have been given to students to use for remote learning according to one source or they remain on campus waiting to be used again according to another source.
One of my sources expressed concern when they heard about the mystery calls occurring in Albion and said that they were afraid the poll was being conducted locally to “test the loyalty of staff by President Johnson”. It should be noted that there is no proof of that as almost all recipients of the calls have no real connection to Albion College.
City Watch will continue to follow up as needed.
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