In a survey conducted by The Red & Black Publishing Company, Inc. and the Center for the Study of Global Issues, researchers found relationships between several concepts unique to college students and resulting political beliefs/affiliations.
The Red & Black Publishing Company, Inc. is an independent, private, not-for-profit corporation, which circulates the largest college newspaper in Georgia.
By surveying the University of Georgia students, faculty, and staff’s political beliefs and attitudes in regards to the upcoming presidential election, several significant findings were discovered concerning elements and their exclusiveness to the campus environment.
While a strong focus was towards how race, ethnicity, religion, gender, and sexuality within the “Campus Climate”, by studying gender specifically, the researchers were further positioned to include “Greek affiliation” as a variable affecting political attitudes and opinions.
Questions were asked regarding the nature of sexual assault on campus. Support toward political party candidates were further determined, as the researchers segmented publics based on both gender and Greek affiliation.
While women not affiliated with Greek life overwhelmingly supported Hillary Clinton, women who were “Greek affiliated” reported less supported of the democratic candidate; however, these women still were more supportive of Clinton than republican party presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Where male college students are concerned, findings were similar in that non-Greek affiliate men supported Hillary Clinton more than their Greek affiliated counterpart.
Men involved in Greek life were found to support republican candidate Donald Trump over his opposing candidate, with 45% supporting Trump and only 32% supporting Clinton.
Third party candidates and others were included in the the survey, categorized as “other”. Within the female publics, the “other” category was less significant than as considered by the male publics. In fact, among non-Greek affiliated men, support for Trump and “other” were nearly equal, resulting in 28% for other and only 29% for Trump.
This survey was conducted within the first week of October, which occurred prior to the revealing of multiple scandals surrounding both candidates. Thus, these findings may have revealed different results had the survey been conducted at a later time.
Nonetheless, this effort conducted by the partnership between The Red & Black and the GLOBIS Center both make use of research to understanding the college student public, ultimately getting students actively engaged in the campaign process.
As presented by the media, the millennial vote is a phenomenon which holds great power to significantly affect the election, however, history shows that the voting turnout rate of millennials is extremely low.
With turnout rates failing to exceed 50%, and only two-in-ten millennials reporting themselves as “politically engaged and active”, one leader in mobilizing millennials to vote and further allowing for a communicative environment is the university attended by the student. Thus, these findings support the strategies taken on by candidates, their campaigns, and other organizations which value democracy and the millennial vote.