A poll conducted by the Creating Awareness Using Social Exchangebetter known as the C.A.U.S.E. organization, a Dillard politicalgroup, resulted in over 90 percent of students polled, beingsupporters of Sen. John Kerry and his political views before theelection took place.
One of the major goals for C.A.U.S.E. this semester was to pushvoter registration, which was how the idea for the poll came about,said senior political science major and co-chair JinnellKillingsworth.
The poll, which was conducted in Kearny Lounge from October12-22, consisted of 284 ballots and focused on the students’ choicefor the United States presidency. The ballot also asked students torank which six issues listed were the most important to them,included homeland security, healthcare, unemployment, the War onIraq, the economy and affordable education.
The poll was the first campus-wide survey, focusing on thepresidential elections, to be done on Dillard’s campus, andC.A.U.S.E co-chair senior urban studies major Yalonda Neff saidthat it was long overdue.
“This election is going to be critical, especially for ourgeneration,” Neff said.
Conducting this poll, according to Neff, was a way for studentsto see which candidate a majority of Dillard students weresupporting, as well as what issues were important to them.
Frederick Staidum Jr. a community liaison and African worldstudies major, said that this poll was important because theresults showed how college students stand on the same issues thatare reported in the news. This poll was a more accurate reflectionof people within his age group because black college students areusually not represented in national polls reported in the news,Staidum said.
“They don’t poll people that look like you and I,” he said.
The issues that were most important to the students who filledout the survey were affordable education and the economy.
Cortez Watkins, a junior physics major, said that he is notsurprised that these issues were the most important.
“I’m not shocked because I think this is a new age where youngadults are paying attention” to these issues, said Watkins, who isalso the junior class president. “School is a major investment,”which is why Watkins thinks students chose these issues as mostimportant.
On the other hand, issues that students deemed least importantwere homeland security and the War on Iraq.
Healthcare and unemployment both ranked as issues that studentsthought were also of some importance, but not at the top of theirlists.
The C.A.U.S.E. organization is known for their monthly debatesand discussions that affect the black community. The organization’sfirst debate addressed each presidential candidate and hisindividual issues.
Neff said that with this debate, they asked the question “whatare these candidates saying about these issues?”
The second debate discussed the Bush administration and issuesof civil liberties. The issues that have been addressed have tendedto make this organization appear anti-Bush, but Neff said that thisis not the case.
“The fact of the matter is, the opinion is going to reflectthose that attend,” and not the organization as a whole, Neffsaid.
Staidum added that the organization itself has no partyaffiliation.
“Our attempt with our discussions is not to make decisions forpeople,” but to “lift the veils” so that students will see the realissues, Staidum said.
Those students who were supporters of Kerry chose more domesticissues such as affordable education to be the most important issueswhile Bush supporters ranked homeland security and the War on Iraqas the most important issues.
Staidum said that he was not surprised by what the poll revealedbut “we won’t see the real change until November 2.”