Students’ political, campus attitudes revealed in UNL student-run survey


Are UNL students more liberal or conservative? Who are students looking to send to the White House in 2012? Who do they support in Nebraska’s senate race? What do they think of their professors’ politics? What do students think of Occupy Wall Street? The Tea Party?

These questions will be answered in a presentation at 1 p.m., Dec. 6 in the Heritage room of the Nebraska Union when the results of a student-conducted UNL Election Study are released to the public.

This fall, students of the UNL course "Political Science 230: Elections, Political Parties, and Special Interests" conducted a student body survey that gained the responses of more than 3,000 UNL students -- about 2,300 undergraduate students and 700 graduate students -- that tapped their political, social and campus attitudes. The class is taught by Michael Wagner.

Details of the survey's major findings will include:

-- What percentage of UNL students are undecided about the 2012 election, both for U.S. Senate in Nebraska and for president of the United States;

-- Who U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson's most popular GOP rival is among students;

-- How President Obama stacks up against his potential GOP rivals;

-- Campus demographic breakdowns between Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives;

-- Students' views on how well professors keep their personal politics out of the classroom;

-- The campus figure that is the most favorably evaluated person at UNL; and

-- Students' views on lowering the drinking age, and at what age should people be considered adults in Nebraska.

The UNL Election Study, now in its second year, was created by a class of 32 undergraduates during the fall 2011 semester to teach students how to construct a survey and to take the pulse of campus.

The students will be open to questions after their presentation.