Last week, the Orient sent out a revised version of its biannual approval ratings survey, known as the Bowdoin Orient Student Survey, which asks students about their habits and opinions in relation to the College. The survey was sent to all 1,816 students and yielded 409 responses.
As with last semester’s survey, students were asked questions about demographics, academics and lifestyle. In previous years, the survey had included only demographic questions and approval ratings for various campus institutions.
As with last semester’s survey, “No Opinion” was the center option for students to select. However, there was no default option, unlike last semester when “No Opinion” was also the default. Students did select “No Opinion” less in this semester’s survey compared to last semester’s.
Disapproval of the Brunswick Police Department (BPD) spiked dramatically this semester. 56 percent of respondents disapproved or strongly disapproved of BPD compared to eight percent last semester. The shift in opinion comes after BPD issued summons to several students for violations ranging from possession of liquor by a minor to jaywalking and shut down the Cold War party in February. Last week, Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols advised students to exercise caution and discretion during Ivies weekend after BPD broke up a party at Bowker Street the weekend before last.
Disapproval of the Office of Safety and Security increased from four percent last semester to seven percent this semester, although the percentage of students who approved or strongly approved of Security remained constant at 87 percent.
The survey asked students about their political beliefs in addition to certain demographic characteristics. Notably, students who identified themselves as varsity athletes also identified as more conservative-leaning than other students.
Members of the Class of 2019 continued to disapprove of their class council at a rate higher than other class years.
Dining Service remained the most popular institution on campus, with 97 percent of respondents’ approval.