Instead of using national polls to predict the next president of the United States, LaRae Donnellan and her PR Research & Strategies class in the School of Journalism & Graphic Communication at Florida A&M University, conducted their own polls surveying college students all over the country.
FAMU, along with Midwestern State University’s computer assisted reporting class in Wichita Falls, TX., showcased their political views in a historic election in which students said the college vote really counted.
Brandi Hunt, 22, a student in Donnellan’s PR Research & Strategies class, said the surveys were important for college students.
“A lot of times the collegiate voice hasn’t been called on that much,” Hunt said. “Students will be impacted significantly in the next four years because we’re going to graduate in the workforce and start buying homes.”
875 students from 86 universities were polled according to Hunt’s press release. Some of these students came from Florida State, Texas A&M, Ohio Northern, Syracuse, and Ball State universities; the universities of Vermont, Idaho and Minnesota; and Tallahassee Community and Vernon College.
Donnellan said results from the polls showed race had an impact on the importance of issues like the economy and war, as well as education.
“We asked students what the number one issue was and all groups said the economy,” Donnellan said. “It mirrored the national poll. The number two issue for those who self-identified themselves as white was war in Iraq and those who self-identified themselves as blacks’ number two issue was education.”
She also said participating in the polls was a good opportunity for both her and the students.
“We always hear about the adult’s perspective,” she said. ” Our purpose in doing this is getting the college voice in the election.”