Thursday, December 04, 2008

57% of students didn't vote in Columbia NROTC poll

From BWOG:

We sent out 6913 email invitations, including all CC, SEAS, and GS
undergraduate students. We received 2971 valid votes, representing 43% of the population.

1463 YES, 49.24%;
1502 NO, 50.56%;
6 ABSTAIN, 0.20%.
That means 57% or 3942 of students in CC, GS, and SEAS declined to vote. Why didn't they? It matters when a survey is decided by only 39 votes across the 3 colleges and many more students didn't vote than voted. (By the way, nearly 2000 votes were thrown out, but that's another issue.)

Despite the intense and sustained attention paid to DADT by both sides, 3942 students were not swayed to vote against NROTC on that basis. Why, then, didn't some of those students vote for NROTC? Were they simply dogmatically apathetic or neutral about NROTC and DADT? Or maybe they would have voted, but didn't feel they knew enough about NROTC to make an informed decision.

The student councils were supposed to jointly produce and distribute a comprehensive information packet about NROTC, its history, financial aid, recruitment, etc., to all the students, which they failed to do. I wonder how many of the non-voting students would have voted if they had been given the information packet. Maybe 40?

Eric

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