Last edited: December 08, 2004

Looking Inward, Freshmen Care Less About Politics and More About Money (excerpt)

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 nation’s 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. "It’s 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."

[Home] [News] [USA]