UD students from the independent study course Topics in American Politics released the results of the annual Blue Hen Poll during an event last week. They are Chad Wood, Eric Watts, Elizabeth Weeks and John Kairis, and are shown with David C. Wilson (right), associate professor of political science and international relations.

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Blue Hen Poll takes pulse of student opinion at UD

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10:25 a.m., May 6, 2013--The results of the sixth annual Blue Hen Poll show that while a large majority of undergraduate students continue to be satisfied with the University of Delaware and would recommend UD to a friend or colleague, opinions vary on other issues such academic encouragement and attending more sporting events.

Conducted by students, for students, the 2013 Blue Hen Poll surveyed a random sample of 5,000 undergraduates on topics ranging from political activity to attendance at UD sporting events. 

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The findings were formally released during a special presentation to an audience of students, faculty and staff held Thursday, May 2, in the Trabant University Center.

Among the key findings:

  • More than half (54) percent believe the Student Government Association (SGA) needs a more diverse membership;
  • About half said UD has prepared them well for life after graduation, and an additional 10 percent said they were very well prepared by UD;
  • Nearly 40 percent said they plan to attend graduate or professional school, while 44 percent planned to seek full-time employment;
  • Military or public service was a goal of 2.4 percent, while 11.3 percent said they were undecided; and 
  • Eighty-one percent of respondents said all U.S. citizens should have the right to vote. 

On the question of more diversity being needed in the Student Government Association, 54 percent said probably yes and 11 percent definitely yes, while 33 percent said probably not, with 2 percent definitely disagreeing.

When asked if the promotion of diversity unfairly discriminates against students who are not racial-ethnic minorities, 39 percent of white students agreed that this was true, as did 8 percent of African American students, 21 percent of Hispanic American and 24 percent of Asian American respondents. 

About 40 percent of students said they had never sought out encouragement to attend gradate school, while 11.1 percent reported doing this on a regular basis and 10 percent said they did this very often.

On receiving encouragement from faculty to pursue graduate study, 36.7 percent noted they had never received any encouragement, while 23 percent said it was a sometimes experience, with 11.7 percent and 7.4 percent indicating they received encouragement regularly and very often, respectively. 

Students also fielded question on poll variables and differences of opinion relative to a voters according to racial identity and residency.  

About the Blue Hen Poll

The Blue Hen Poll (BHP) is a public opinion survey designed to examine the attitudes and opinions of students at the University of Delaware. The BHP is planned, marketed and presented by UD students with faculty supervision. 

The goals of the project are to inform the UD community (including on campus, Newark, and surrounding areas of Newark) about what UD students think, how they feel, and what they do; to provide an outlet for students to have their opinions heard; and to provide a social research opportunity for undergraduate students to learn about survey methodology and quantitative analysis.

Article by Jerry Rhodes

Photos by Lane McLaughlin

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