Poll Finds Brown Students Ambivalent, Uninformed

h/t BDH:

Results of a recent Herald poll indicate that most students are not following the actions of Providence Mayor David Cicilline ’83, with an overwhelming 71 percent of students choosing “Don’t know/No answer” when asked if they approved or disapproved of the way the mayor is handling his job.

Only 7.5 percent of students indicated they had a strong opinion about Cicilline’s job performance.

Of the students who answered, 15.1 percent said they somewhat approved, 6.4 percent somewhat disapproved, 4.7 percent strongly approved and 2.8 percent strongly disapproved.

As a Brown student who has become deeply emotionally invested in state and city politics, I’ve thought long and hard about what to comment on this. Instead of something predictable about the role student activists can play in progressive social change or how it makes more sense to be engaged locally rather than nationally because you can have an bigger impact (esp. in a state like Rhode Island), I’ve decided it stands best by itself as a monument to the hilarity that can be found in the obvious. No one on College Hill (or anywhere else for that matter) could possibly be surprised by this yet its some how still really funny.




Okay, I just can’t resist editorializing. Kudos to interviewed student Arielle Balbus, Brown ’11: “I have a certain amount of enthusiasm for any effort that would encourage students, myself included, to engage a bit more in Providence politics.” Students like Balbus should get involved with issue-based student groups like Housing Opportunities for People Everywhere (email: megan.c.smith22@gmail.com), which was part of a great rally at the state house this afternoon btw, or that wonderful campus pariah Students for a Democratic Society (just comment and I’ll get you in touch), whose immigration working group’s ally work with the Olneyville Neighborhood Association gives a quick education about social issues most of us on the Hill probably don’t think about that much.

Oh, and, of course, always read the Dose.

4 thoughts on “Poll Finds Brown Students Ambivalent, Uninformed”

  1. I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that the same level of commitment to the city would be found on any college campus here (PC,RIC, J&W). There is a small group of students who deeply care about ‘city’ issues and take that care out into Providence. But most students don’t get involved in issues locally or local issues.

    Still, let’s remember that these folks are trying to figure out who they are, what they are interested in, and how to merge those two things into their future. Learning to become participatory citizens is happening as evidenced by the seniors reduction in the DK response.

  2. How is this news, surprising or even worth mentioning?
    Brown students or any students in town are transient at best and head out of town as soon as they’re done with school. Why should temporary residents who aren’t going to stick around be concerned with politics?

    The important activism and awareness needs to come from residents with a stake in the town. There is plenty of that all around and in plain sight. As long as they’re active, there’s nothing to worry about.

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