Looking Inward, Freshmen Care Less About Politics and More About Money
Chronicle of Higher
Education, January 26, 2001
1255 23rd Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20037
By Alex P. Kellogg
. . . Now in its 35th year, the freshman survey, conducted by the Higher
Education Research Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles,
is the most comprehensive of its kind, and aims to show how the attitudes and
aspirations of college freshmen change over time. The survey is normally
conducted during freshman orientation and the first week of classes, and thus
reflects students experiences in their last year of high school as well as
their expectations for college.
The results of the 2000 study are based on the responses of 269,413
students at 434 of the nations baccalaureate colleges and universities. . .
. . . only 27.2 percent of freshmen reported that they felt it "is
important to have laws prohibiting homosexual relationships" down
from the record 50.4 percent who agreed with that statement in 1987. Fifty-six
percent also believed that "same-sex couples should have the right to
legal marital status."
According to Albert Cho, a junior at Harvard University and co-chairman of
the Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, Transgender and Supporters Alliance, that
represents significant progress. "Its important because it confers a
sort of public legitimacy to the idea of gay and lesbian relationships,"
says Mr. Cho. "In general, people are becoming more comfortable with
equal rights for gays and lesbians even though their attitudes about the
private lives of gays and lesbians may not have changed."
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