University News

Fall 2012 Student Poll Results

Special Projects Editor
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
This article is part of the series Fall 2012 Student Poll

Whom do you plan on voting for in the upcoming U.S. presidential election?

0.1%  Rocky Anderson

0.3%  Virgil Goode

1.6%  Gary Johnson

65.6%  Barack Obama

7.1%  Mitt Romney

1.5%  Jill Stein

7.4%  Unsure

16.3%  Not voting

Do you plan on voting in the upcoming election?

10.6%  Yes, and I am registered in Rhode Island

62.8%  Yes, and I am registered in another state

5.5%  No, I do not plan on voting

15.1%  No, I am not eligible to vote

6.1%  I am unsure if I am voting

What is your stance on abortion?

42.1%  Should always be legal

25.6%  Should be legal in the first and second trimesters

13.5%  Should be legal in the first trimester only

5.6%  Should be illegal, except in special cases like rape

3.3%  Should always be illegal

8.3%  Unsure

1.6%  No opinion

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

10.9%  Strongly approve

17.5%  Somewhat approve

69.3%  No opinion

1.8%  Somewhat disapprove

0.5%  Strongly disapprove

Should Brown consider race in student admissions decisions?

34.5%  Yes

25.8%  No

32.9%  No, but it should consider other aspects of diversity, like socioeconomic status

6.9%  No opinion

Should Brown consider race when hiring professors?

35.1%  Yes

40.9%  No

14.7%  No, but it should consider other aspects of diversity, like gender

9.4%  No opinion

How do you feel about the University offering online courses?

17.7%  The University should offer more for-credit online courses for Brown students

24.2%  The University should offer open courses to the general public

19.1%  The University should offer both more for-credit online courses for Brown students and open courses to the general public

9.3%  The University should not offer any type of online courses

10.8%  No opinion

19.0%  Not familiar enough to answer

On average, how happy do you think you are relative to your peers?

8.6%  Much happier

29.0%  Slightly happier

46.1%  Equally happy

11.2%  Slightly less happy

2.3%  Much less happy

2.8%  Unsure

Since you have been at Brown, which of the following have you done?

5.6%  Copied an assignment or parts of an assignment from a published source

20.2%  Copied an assignment or parts of an assignment from a friend

17.7%  Collaborated on an assignment when instructed not to

6.4%  Used notes for a take-home test or assignment when instructed not to

4.3%  Cheated on an in-class test

6.3%  Done something else that would be considered cheating

60.2%  I have never done any of these

What type of romantic or sexual relationship are you in right now?

24.8%  Exclusive relationship with one other person

0.3%  Exclusive relationshipwith multiple people

7.8%  Consistent hook-ups with one other person

1.4%  Consistent hook-ups with multiple people

11.2%  Casual hook-ups with multiple people

3.5%  Other

48.5%  Not in any kind of relationship

2.4%  Do not know

What type of romantic or sexual relationship do you want right now?

56.0%  Exclusive relationship with one other person

1.1%  Exclusive relationship with multiple people

9.7%  Consistent hook-ups with one other person

3.3%  Consistent hook-ups with multiple people

3.8%  Casual hook-ups with multiple people

1.0%  Other

12.0%  Not in any kind of relationship

13.3%  Do not know

On average, how many hours of sleep do you get each weeknight? 

0.9%  Fewer than 4

26.2%  Between 4 and 6

65.5%  Between 6 and 8

7.1%  More than 8

0.4%  Unsure


Written questionnaires were administered to 959 undergraduates October 17-18 in the lobby of J. Walter Wilson and the Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center during the day and the Sciences Library at night. The poll has a 2.9 percent margin of error with 95 percent confidence. The margin of error is 4.4 percent for the subset of males, 3.9 percent for females, 5.7 percent for first-years, 5.5 percent for sophomores, 5.9 percent for juniors, 6.4 percent for seniors, 4.3 percent for students receiving financial aid, 4.0 percent for students not receiving financial aid, 9.0 percent for varsity athletes and 3.1 percent for non-athletes.

The sample polled was demographically similar to the Brown undergraduate population as a whole. The sample was 45 percent male and 55 percent female. First-years made up 26 percent of the sample, 28 percent were sophomores, 25 percent were juniors and 22 percent were seniors. Varsity athletes made up 11 percent of the sample. Of those polled, 46 percent currently receive financial aid from Brown. Students reported all races with which they identify, with 63 percent saying white, 20 percent Asian, 12 percent Hispanic, 9 percent black, 1 percent American Indian or Alaska Native, 1 percent Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander and 5 percent other.

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

News Editor Alexandra Macfarlane ’13, Sports Editor Jacob Comer ’13, Special Projects Editor Greg Jordan-Detamore ’14 and Senior Staff Writers Maddie Berg ’15, Elizabeth Koh ’15, Kate Nussenbaum ’15 and Adam Toobin ’15, coordinated the poll. Herald section editors, senior staff writers and other staff members conducted the poll.


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