Campus & Community

Students engaged but skeptical, survey says

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College students nationwide surveyed by Harvard’s Institute of Politics

“Contrary to popular belief, college students are engaged in their community and tuned into current events,” said Dan Glickman, director of Harvard’s Institute of Politics and a former U.S. Cabinet secretary and member of Congress. “But it is little wonder that they feel disengaged from politics when the campaigns focus most of their attention on elderly voters, Social Security, and prescription drugs. Politicians need to connect with younger people or risk a diminished representative government and a distorted pool of voters.” A survey conducted by the IOP found that though undergraduates are committed to their neighborhoods, only one-third said they were registered to vote – and would definitely do so – and a smaller percentage participate in political activities. The poll is part of an annual study of college students’ attitudes toward public service and government. In addition to looking at attitudes, the poll asked specific questions about current events, including views on war with Iraq and the reinstatement of a military draft.