The University Record, January 30, 1995
By Janet N.
News and Information Services
While almost half of the freshmen entering the U-M this past fall say that keeping up with political affairs is an important goal in life, less than a third of the nations incoming college freshmen report they are interested in and value politics.
Although U-M students are more enthused about politics than their national counterparts, interest is declining. Last year 52.3 percent of the students said that keeping up with political affairs was of value, compared with 46.2 percent this year.
Slightly more than one-quarter of U-M freshmen, 25.2 percent, say they discuss politics frequently, a decrease from 30.2 percent last year. Nationally, even fewer freshmen say they talk about politics, 16 percent vs. 18.8 percent in 1993.
The national freshman survey has been conducted for 29 years by the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, and sponsored by the National Council on Education. Results are based on 237,777 questionnaires from students at 461 two- and four-year colleges and universities.
Some 4,600 U-M students were surveyed last summer and fall by the Office of Orientation, with sponsorship from the Division of Student Affairs. U-M students were included in the national study this year and in 1993, according to Eric L. Dey, director of students affairs research.
Dey says that despite the declining interest in political activities, research shows that students who attend selective institutions are more likely to be interested in and involved with politics than are students attending other colleges.
In the current survey, 53.2 percent of students entering highly selective private universities and 42.4 percent entering highly selective public universities are interested in political issues, Dey says.
The most popular political label among U-M students is middle of the road (45.4 percent). Some 19.8 describe themselves as being politically conservative, while 34.8 percent say they are liberal. Comparable percentages at other highly selective public universities are 20.4 percent conservative and 33.3 percent liberal, Dey points out.
The national survey shows that tobacco use continues to rise but alcohol consumption is down. Nationally, some 12.5 percent of freshmen said they smoked, while only 6.2 percent of U-M students say they are frequent smokers.
U-M students show beer-drinking levels similar to those reported nationally, 53 percent at U-M, 53.2 percent nationwide.
Here is a list of the Michigan Congressional Delegation with addresses, phone numbers and committee memberships:
SENATE: Washington, D.C. 20510
Spencer Abraham, R
Budget, Judiciary, Labor
Carl Levin, D
Governmental Affairs, Small Business, Armed Services
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
Washington, D.C. 20515
James Barcia, D-Bay City (5th Dist)
Transportation and Infrastructure, Science
Dave Bonior, D-Mt. Clemens
Dave Camp, R-Midland (4th Dist)
Ways and Means
Dick Chrysler, R-Flint (8th Dist.)
Banking, Small Business, Government Reform & Oversight
Barbara Rose Collins, D-Detroit (15th Dist.)
Transportation and Infrastructure
John Conyers, D-Detroit
Judiciary, Small Business
John Dingell, D-Trenton
Vernon Ehlers, R-Grand Rapids
Transportation & Infrastructure, Science, House Reform & Oversight
Peter Hoekstra, R-Holland
Budget, Economic and Educational Opportunities
Dale Kildee, D-Flint (9th Dist.)
Economic and Educational
Joe Knollenberg, R-Bloomfield Hills (11th Dist.)
Appropriations, Economic and Educational Opportunities
Sandy Levin, D-Southfield
Ways and Means
Lynn Rivers, D-Ann Arbor
Nick Smith, R-Addison (7th Dist.)
Bart Stupak, D-Menominee
Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph (6th Dist.)