Data Science, University News

Spring 2015 Poll 1 Results and Methodology

Monday, March 30, 2015
This article is part of the series Spring 2015 Student Polls

Emma Jerzyk and Gadi Cohen

See accompanying article. Please click the image to access the poll chord diagram.

1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Christina Paxson is handling her job as president of the University?

6.4% Strongly approve

35.0% Somewhat approve

33.6% No opinion

21.7% Somewhat disapprove

3.4% Strongly disapprove

2. How would you describe your political views on fiscal issues?

2.7% Very conservative

14.5% Somewhat conservative

13.7% Centrist

37.0% Somewhat liberal

21.5% Very liberal

10.6% No opinion

3. How would you describe your political views on social issues?

0.9% Very conservative

5.6% Somewhat conservative

6.6% Centrist

27.9% Somewhat liberal

56.0% Very liberal

3.0% No opinion

4. How comfortable do you feel expressing your political views at Brown?

29.3% Very comfortable

38.8% Somewhat comfortable

8.7% No opinion

18.5% Somewhat uncomfortable

4.7% Very uncomfortable

5. Do you approve or disapprove of the interim ban on large-scale events with alcohol service at Greek and program houses?

11.1% Strongly approve

23.5% Somewhat approve

11.9% No opinion

28.3% Somewhat disapprove

21.8% Strongly disapprove

3.4% Not familiar enough to answer

6. Do you think the University’s sanctions against Phi Kappa Psi (loss of University recognition and housing for four years with the right to petition for recognition in May 2017) are appropriate?

36.5% Yes

32.0% No, they were too harsh

5.5% No, they were too lenient

9.6% No opinion

16.5% Not familiar enough to answer

7. Do you think the University’s sanctions against Sigma Chi (revoking the right to chapter spaces and prohibiting recruitment and rush until fall 2016) are appropriate?

29.2% Yes

26.7% No, they were too harsh

8.9% No, they were too lenient

10.4% No opinion

24.8% Not familiar enough to answer

8. Do you feel inadequate relative to other Brown students? (Circle all that apply.)

32.6% Yes, about my academic ability

19.3% Yes, about my social life

20.1% Yes, about my sex/love life

14.0% Yes, about my appearance

16.6% Yes, about my socioeconomic status

9.3% Yes, about something not listed above

43.4% No, I do not feel inadequate relative to other Brown students

9. What roles have grad students played in your experience at Brown? (Circle all that apply.)

80.2% I have had grad students as teaching assistants

22.6% I have interacted with grad students while doing research

35.7% I have taken a course taught by a grad student

24.5% Grad students have been mentors (formal or informal) to me

10.7% Other

8.6% I have not interacted with grad students

10. How would you characterize your overall experience with grad students at Brown?

41.3% Very positive

32.9% Somewhat positive

18.3% Neutral

1.6% Somewhat negative

0.4% Very negative

5.6% I have not interacted with grad students

11. During a typical 50-minute lecture in which laptop use is permitted, how much time do you spend on a laptop doing things unrelated to class?

1.1% 50 minutes

1.6% 40 minutes

5.1% 30 minutes

12.4% 20 minutes

37.6% 10 minutes

14.1% 0 minutes

28.2% I do not use my laptop in class

12. How often do you use ride-sharing smartphone apps such as Uber and Lyft?

10.9% Multiple times a week

20.0% Once a week

30.0% Once a month

14.6% Once a semester

24.5% Never


 The poll has a 2.8 percent margin of error with 95 percent confidence. The margin of error is 4.1 percent for the subset of males, 3.9 percent for females, 5.9 percent for first-years, 5.5 percent for sophomores, 5.8 percent for juniors, 5.4 percent for seniors, 4.0 percent for students receiving financial aid and 4.0 percent for students not receiving financial aid.

The sample polled was demographically similar to the Brown undergraduate population as a whole. The sample was 47.3 percent male and 52.1 percent female. First-years made up 23.2 percent of the sample, 26.1 percent were sophomores, 23.6 percent were juniors and 27.0 percent were seniors. Varsity athletes made up 11.2 percent of the sample. Students involved in Greek life made up 16.2 percent of the sample. Of those polled, 48.4 percent currently receive financial aid from Brown. Students reported all races with which they identify, with 57.2 percent saying white, 26.0 percent Asian, 11.2 percent Hispanic, 11.0 percent black, 1.1 percent American Indian or Alaska Native, 0.6 percent Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander and 4.7 percent other.

Statistical significance was established at the 0.05 level. All reported cross-tabulations are statistically significant.

University News Editors Emma Harris ’17, Caroline Kelly ’17 and Joseph Zappa ’17, Graphics Editor and Metro Editor Emma Jerzyk ’17, Sports Editor Andrew Flax ’17, Senior Staff Writers Taneil Ruffin ’17 and Kate Talerico ’18 and Graphics staffer Gadi Cohen ’15 coordinated the poll. Herald section editors, senior staff writers and other staff members conducted the poll.

Over the next several weeks, The Herald will publish a series of articles about individual poll questions. Find results of previous polls at