Institutional Research
CIRP Survey: Political Issues
 

Fall 2009 CIRP: Political Issues

The CIRP (Cooperative Institutional Research Program) survey asks several questions related to students' political views. The information below is based on the responses of fall 2009 incoming students on the Oxford campus of Miami University.

Political Beliefs
Incoming Miami students are more likely to call their political views "conservative" (30.9%) rather than "liberal" (25.3%). Miami students are considerably more likely than students from other highly selective public universities to say they are "conservative" or "far right" and considerably less likely to say they are "liberal." Miami students also tend to have more consertative opinions on a variety of politically-related issues, such as abortion and the rights of criminals.

CIRP Flashback! 1971 to 2009: Students' political beliefs have shifted quite a bit since the CIRP was first conducted at Miami in 1971. The percentage of students who characterize themselves as "liberal" has decreased while the percentage who characterize themselves as "conservative" has increased. This trend is similar to the trends seen at other highly selective public universities.

Table 6A: Political Beliefs

Figure 6B: Students with "Liberal" Political Views (1971 - 2009)

Figure 6C: Students with "Conservative" Political Views (1971 - 2009)


High School Political Activities
Miami students are similar to students from other highly selective public universities in their high school political activities. They did not differ significantly in their likelihood of participating in political demonstrations, voting in a school election, or discussing politics during the past year. Particularly high percentages of students reported discussing politics during the past year, both at Miami (87.8%) and at other highly selective public universities (89.4%).

CIRP Flashback! 1999 to 2009: The frequency with which students discuss politics has increased over the past ten years, both for students at Miami University and students at other highly selective public universities. In 2009, 87.8% of incoming first-year Miami students reported discussing politics during the past year compared with 75.2% in 1999.

Table 6D: High School Political Activities

Figure 6E: Discussed Politics During Past Year (1999 - 2009)


Political Goals and Future Actions

Miami students do not differ from students at other highly selective public universities in the importance they place on influencing the political structure or keeping up to date with political affairs. Incoming students at Miami, though, are less likely to anticipate participating in student government than are students at other highly selective public universities.

Table 6F: Political Goals and Future Actions

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