Issuu on Google+

GENDER AND THE SUPER-LOCAL: RETHINKING THE MEASURE OF POLITICAL ENGAGEMENT Eric “Harry” Brisson May 8th, 2011

One of the most interesting phenomena in the study of political science is the gender gap in political engagement; scholars have explored this disparity between the political participation rates of men and women at length, and it is still not completely clear why the difference exists. This is concerning because men and women have politically distinct perspectives when examining problems that face society and potential policy solutions. By looking at “super-local” political behavior – that is, campus and community involvement of students at Denison University – this paper challenges the existence of the gender gap in smaller and more intimate political communities. The paper finds that Denison women, in fact, outperform Denison men in terms of organizational involvement on campus as well as their self-reported efficacy in making change on campus. The distinct gender effects on super-local political participation and engagement require a rethinking of how we define terms such as political engagement and the gendered nature of different political arenas, particularly the local as compared to the state and national.


Brisson 2 In a healthy and effective democracy, all politically distinct voices are represented in political discourse and – resultingly – policy action. The gender gap is a much-documented political behavior phenomenon wherein females are less inclined to be politically engaged than their male counterparts. As a result, women are effectively disenfranchised, which not only threatens to lead to their exploitation in policy but also to deny their perspective to the discourse commons so that an incomplete understanding of issues grounds policy-making decisions. Since the gender gap has typically been observed in the context of national or state politics, it is worth testing to see how the gap holds in a local and more intimate community. Denison University is a coeducational liberal arts college of approximately 2,100 students, and it cites as part of its mission to “inspire … active citizens in a democratic society” (Denison University Mission Statement). Nearly all students are engaged in some realm of organizational life on campus, with most involved in more than one respect. Since students are empowered to think critically about their own community, many have opinions about the school‟s character and direction. [Figure 1 about here] Denison‟s political culture is marked by disagreement. On numerous issues, ranging from diversity to alcohol to sexual assault, students on campus hold varying and adversarial perspectives and opinions. Our survey demonstrated that the campus was divided on a whole host of issues: of 603 students responding, 51.2% believed that Denison students drink too much with 48.8% disagreeing. Regarding security presence, 51.6% of 601 students supported a reduction while 48.4% opposed it. On the importance of diversity, students were also split: 50.6% of 601 students supported increasing the importance of racial diversity in admissions with 49.4% opposing it. This is remarkable because not only does it


Brisson 3 demonstrate that disagreement exists on campus, but the different “camps” in which students are situated are of roughly equivalent sizes, with approximately half of the surveyed student population supporting a proposal and the other half opposing it. A critical question to examine before exploring how participation is gendered is whether or not the political questions the community must address are gendered. If political questions in the community are not gendered, then there is little concern with policy effects on mismatched participation; however, if political questions are gendered, then it is essential that both genders participate politically to ensure that balance in perspective and ideal policies are realized and implemented. Some issues seem by their very construction to be gendered. An important issue of this character facing Denison‟s campus is addressing incidents of sexual assault on campus. Like any college campus, Denison has occasional reports of sexual assault, and these reports are taken through Denison‟s Community Rights and Standards Board, where the accused are given a trial in front of their peers. In the past year, only one student has been found responsible for an act of sexual assault; the total number of reports is not public knowledge, but numerous other cases did not find enough evidence to find the accused student responsible. The student perspective on Denison‟s ability to competently address these incidents varies from students on one side – who are concerned that the process is too heavily in favor of the victim so that the accused is not treated as “innocent until proven guilty” as the American justice system would typically require – to those on the other side – who are equally concerned, but that students from moneyed families can get away with anything and Denison is wholly unable to address this significant danger on campus due to economic


Brisson 4 influence. We would expect this issue to be significantly gendered, since most sexual assault reports allegedly have female victims and male perpetrators. [Figure 2 about here] The reality is consistent with our expectations: this issue is perceived differently on gender lines. Most striking is how nearly three-quarters of women on campus identify sexual assault as a “serious problem on Denison‟s campus,” while less than half of men on campus would identify it as such – a significant difference of over 25%. The seriousness of this issue is heavily gendered, and women are much more likely to express concern with Denison‟s ability to address this threat to student safety and welfare. There is also significant variance in how male and female community members approach different policy approaches. Males are more likely than females to feel that “perpetrators of sexual assault are dealt with appropriately by the student conduct process,” perhaps because they are far less likely to have had a personal experience with sexual assault where they did not feel the perpetrator was effectively handled by the administration. Another policy that the administration and Licking County explored to better address incidents of sexual assault and rape was requiring faculty members and Denison student employees to report any cases of sexual assault that came to their knowledge. Licking County Prosecutor Ken Oswalt, in particular, encouraged this reporting system so that he could personally meet with victims and press for criminal charges and, thus, justice for the perpetrator. Many students and faculty on campus, however, took a different approach. They were concerned that forcing a victim of sexual assault to do anything would deprive said victim of agency at a time when they already feel particularly powerless. What is critical for the victim, this line argument goes, is that they feel enabled and in control of their own lives


Brisson 5 again. They should not be revictimized by a criminal justice process that once again deprives them of their right to make their own decisions, not to mention a right to privacy about a personal and traumatic experience. Female community members were more inclined than male community members to believe that Denison faculty ought to “be required to report the names of sexual assault victims to law enforcement.” This is particularly interesting because the argument that was framed as “the pro-female position” by administrators was the privacy of victims ought to be protected; that said, this issue is particularly nuanced and most students who responded were probably not acquainted with its subtleties. Most females who responded could have perhaps taken the position that appeared to be the toughest on those who commit the act of sexual assault, not thinking of the potential damage that could be done to a victim who is forced to press charges against her assaulter. Seeing that male and female community members respond to this issue differently allows us to appreciate the importance of understanding the gender gap. If only one perspective is being represented or engaging in the political system, the ramifications for policy are evident: disenfranchisement breeds inequality, injustice, and even exploitation. It becomes critical for the political system to determine means to include more soft-spoken voices to preserve a fair political system. The political question of how to best address sexual assault on campus is one that most would anticipate to be gendered significantly, but it is also important to explore other political questions to determine the breadth of gender‟s effects on an individual‟s conception of political questions. The more that gender is intermingled with political perspective, the more critical it is to ensure both genders are effectively represented within the political process. A great number of questions were asked of respondents that were not explicitly


Brisson 6 gendered, and it can be discerned that other elements of campus life are significantly gendered, such as values tied to what a college experience should look like. [Figure 3 about here] One aspect of this is the perspective that students have on Denison‟s alcohol culture. Women who responded were much more likely than men to agree with the statement that “students at Denison drink too much.” While the issue of alcohol use on Denison‟s campus may seem like a minor issue facing Denison‟s campus, in fact it is an issue that touches all areas of student life, social as well as academic. If only men were to engage in the political system, the student body will appear much more comfortable with its drinking culture than if only women were to engage in the political system. One can anticipate that policy outcomes would also vary significantly since the campus culture is perceived quite different by women than by men. Another important discussion that takes place frequently among both students and faculty alike is the role and importance of diversity in a college education. The opinions of students on whether “racial diversity should be a higher priority in admissions” are also significantly tied to gender. Over 55% of women on campus who responded believe it ought to be, while less than 45% of men on campus who responded would support such an endeavor. Once again, we find a political question that does not have any apparent gender connection that has significant deviation tied to lines of gender. The starkest contrast of all, though, comes with the question of how present Denison security should be in student residence halls. Over three-quarters of Denison male respondents push for Denison security to “be less present in the residence halls,” while over half of women would oppose such a reduction in security‟s presence. Here we clearly have gender politics at odds, and if one gender is overrepresented, it could give the illusion that


Brisson 7 the student body perhaps has established more of a consensus than actually exists. Were the men on campus to conduct a vote, the presence of security would be reduce – perhaps even dramatically – while this same policy adjustment would not pass if the women on campus were to vote. This demonstrates the importance of engaging both genders in politics so that all voices and perspectives can truly be reflected in the reshaping of the community. Seeing how Denison students vary so significantly in the way they perceive the college‟s culture, we should expect significant deviations along gender lines in how students approach policy solutions as well. This is found in a series of questions where respondents were asked to identify themselves on an 11-point spectrum that ranged from strongly agreeing to strongly disagreeing with a policy. As we would anticipate, men and women – though not unified – do possess distinct political perspectives in how to utilize collective action to address common challenges. [Figure 4 about here] Since we saw that the presence of diversity on campus was generally more of a value to female students than to male students, it is reasonable for us to expect that women would be significantly more likely to support the adoption of a power and justice general education requirement. Such is the case, as nearly 60% of Denison women support the addition of the requirement, while the proposal maintains the support less than half of males. This is a particularly gendered issue also because this course would require males to take a course that would teach them that they hold privilege, which may be an uncomfortable experience they would like to avoid or even an idea to which they object ideologically. Gender appears to be quite a significant factor at play in opinion, emphasizing once again the importance of crossgender political participation.


Brisson 8 Women are also more inclined than men to support a merit-based lottery that uses GPA. A superficial reading might suggest that this is due to the fact that female students have, on average, higher GPAs, but since men and women choose rooms in separate lotteries, this would not provide women an advantage. Women are more willing to embrace a seemingly meritocratic system, and the difference between their perspective and that of their male counterparts is significant along gender lines. This may even be an issue that is more a product of differences in major curriculum rigor, as men are more likely to be majoring in the sciences – majors noted for being particularly hard on one‟s GPA. Not all proposals, however, are significantly varied based on gender. Support for (and opposition against) permitting kegs on campus is roughly equivalent for both male and female members of the Denison student community. This is despite the fact that there is significant disagreement regarding whether Denison students “drink too much” – either a testament to how students don‟t see a correlation between the introduction of kegs and the increased presence and intensity of heavy drinking or a nonchalance regarding the behavior of other community members. Not surprisingly, support for a proposal to provide gender neutral housing (or rooms that would not have specific gender labels, to provide for greater student autonomy as well as to provide apartment living spaces for those who are gender queer or gender questioning) opportunities for students also shows significant deviation across gender lines. Interestingly, though, males were more willing to embrace this policy change than women, despite the general truism that women feel more warmly toward the GLBTQ community and are more progressive in terms of their issues. Female students, perhaps, are less comfortable with the idea of living with male students than male students are with living with female students,


Brisson 9 which could explain why only females had significant opposition to the introduction of this new living environment. Acknowledging the significance of gender in shaping policy perspectives on community political issues that range from the curriculum to housing to diversity to social culture, it is critical to better understand inconsistencies in participation that occur across gender lines so that all voices are represented and the most ideal of policies are implemented. Good governance requires that all voices become engaged in the political process so that they may be heard and impact policy. In exploring why deviations occur in political participatory behavior among various members of community, we become better able to understand how to create a community that truly reflects all the independent voices that compose that community.

LITERATURE REVIEW The study of political science has yielded much research on the question of why some members of society participate frequently while others participate not at all. One approach to political participation emphasizes factors somewhat within an American citizenâ€&#x;s civic skills and awareness, such as political knowledge (Cook et al 2008), media attentiveness (Goidel and Nisbet 2006) or organizational involvement (Brady et al 1995; Cook et al 2008; Goidel and Nisbet 2006). A model that relies on factors that can be altered through the agency of individuals suggests that individuals choose to or not to participate, rather than being constrained from participating. There are also factors that are beyond the control of individuals, most commonly time and money (Cook et al 2008). These factors can bar certain groups from adequate participation in deliberations, leading to an inherently undemocratic democracy.


Brisson 10 Another approach examines the channels of discourse themselves, determining their affect on participation in elections. Heterogeneous pools of individuals can have the effect of not only postponing decision-making but also decreasing voting behaviors (Mutz 2002). These correlations, however weak, are concerning when diversity in discussions is prescribed to fight extremism. Policy decisions and the manner in which they are presented can affect the participation of individuals. For example, when senior citizens felt that their social security was threatened, they increased their participation through increased meeting attendance and contacting of representatives (Campbell 2003). A wide body of literature has been written on political engagement, with most of it studying political motivation as the dependent variable. Much of it claims that an individual will be more inclined to participate in politics when they have a leader that identifies with them descriptively (e.g., Bobo and Gilliam 1990; Burns, Schlozman, and Verba 2001; Gay 2001, 2002; Hansen 1997; Lawless 2004; Philpot and Walton 2007; Pitkin 1967; Tate 1993, 2003). As Mansbridge states, “disadvantaged groups may want to be represented by „descriptive representatives,‟ that is, individuals who in their own backgrounds mirror some of the more frequent experiences and manifestations of belonging to the group” (1999: 628). This claim has been supported time and time again in various studies throughout time. Despite studies that identify women as a group less likely than others to have a unified and particular voice (e.g., Andersen 1975; Gurin, Miller, and Gurin 1980), more current studies have found that women can be especially responsive to female leadership (Atkeson and Carillo 2007; Burns, Schlozman, and Verba 2001; Mansbridge 1999;


Brisson 11 Sanbonmatsu 2002, 2003; Smith and Fox 2001).1 Studies have been conducted that claim that women prefer leaders of their own gender (Rosenthal 1995; Sanbonmatsu 2002, 2003). Women of wealth and who identify as “feminists” are more likely to take on this preference (Carroll 1987; Rosenthal 1995; Smith and Fox 2001). Women‟s apparent preference for female representation is relevant to us as it is an indicator that men and women have consistently held distinct political perspectives in our nations contemporary political history. A wide array of studies have documented differences in political preferences that exist on gender lines for a wide range of issues, including the fact that women tend to favor the Democratic Party and its presidential candidates (BoxSteffensmeier, De Boef, and Lin 2004; Burns, Schlozman, and Verba 2001; Chaney, Alvarez, and Nagler 1998; Howell and Day 2000; Kaufmann 2002, 2006; Kaufmann and Petrocik 1999; Norrander 1999; Schlozman, Burns, and Verba 1999; Trevor 1999). Generally speaking, women are more politically liberal than their male counterparts (Atkeson and Rappoport 2003; Clark and Clark 1996), particularly around issues of social welfare (Erie and Rein 1988; Howell and Day 2000; Kaufmann and Petrocik 1999; Shapiro and Mahajan 1986). This difference in perspective is most apparent around the issue of homosexuality: much more than men, women are likely to support full equality for gay people (Herek 2002; Kaufmann and Petrocik 1999; Kite and Whitley 1996). Various studies have demonstrated that female representatives and candidates are identified as having an “issue competency” regarding social issues, especially those that involve children (Burrell 1994; Dabelko and Herrnson 1997; Delli Carpini and Fuchs 1993; Huddy and Terkildsen 1993; Kahn 1993,

1 But see Lawless (2004) and Poggione (2004), both of whom argue that women voters‟ positive response to female elected officials may be rooted primarily in partisan agreement. See Dolan (2008) for a review of the voting literature in this vein.


Brisson 12 1994; Paolino 1995; Sanbonmatsu 2002; Sapiro 1982). This idea of social issues as feminine politics is a question we explore at length.

Our Question The primary questions that we intend to explore in this paper are as follows: Does the gender cap continue to exist in super-local politics? That is, do smaller, more intimate political settings alter the character of the gender gap? If so, how do these differences reflect our understanding of political participation? How do they reflect assumptions we make about political participation?

RESEARCH DESIGN As is displayed in Table 1, the research design we conducted was a panel in which there were three stages: a first campus-wide poll, a deliberative forum, and a second campuswide poll. Overall, 1,259 students (61.7% of the student body) participated in the design in some capacity. The first and third stages reached out to the entire campus as a whole, while the second stage reached out only to those who had responded to the first survey. Almost all (658 of 682) participants in the first cross-sectional survey were invited to participate in the deliberative forum. An ID number was used to track participants across the range of their participation. [Table 1 about here] The first campus-wide survey -- Big Red Poll -- was a series of questions submitted to the entire Denison student body, and it includes 902 cases. The survey had over 100 questions, and it was sent to students on September 15, 20, and 23 in 2010. Data was collected up through Monday, September 27. The sample for the Big Red Poll was intended


Brisson 13 to represent Denisonâ€&#x;s campus as accurately as possible, particularly by using different subject lines to appeal to different demographic audiences. In the end, this survey yielded 681 complete responses and 221 partial responses for a response rate of 44.2%. The second stage was a forum held in the evening for an hour on November 9 and 10; 658 were invited, 316 RSVPd (48%), 159 indicated a willingness to attend (50.3% of those who RSVPd, 24.2% of those invited), and 116 (73%) did in fact show up on one of those nights. In the forum, willing participants were randomly assigned to groups, though modifications were made by hand to ensure a balance across groups in the gender majority and in the starting level of opinion on the issue to be deliberated. Groups were designed intending to maintain a group average opinion that remained within 1.5 points of the scale midpoint of 5 using a 0-10 scale. In the end, not everyone who had RSVPed for the forum actually attended the forum, and some groups were merged at the last minute to ensure enough people to deliberate. Forum participants were asked a short series of questions before the forum and a more extensive set after the forum. Using the responses of deliberation participants before and after, the effects of the deliberation on the individuals can be considered. This constitutes a "within-groups" experimental design. The final stage was a second survey, first administered Nov 19 and open for two weeks with three reminders sent to the entire campus. Of the 1384 invitations sent to those who did not complete the first survey, we received 344 complete and partial responses (24.9%). Of the 656 invitations to those who completed the first survey, 323 also completed the second campus-wide survey as well (49.2%; and 357 completed some part of it for a 54.4% response rate). Of the 116 forum participants, 90 (77.6%) completed the final survey. The total response rate for wave 3 was 34.4% (701/2040).


Brisson 14

HYPOTHESIS The expectation is that the gender gap will be significantly less present or even altogether reversed in smaller and more intimate political environments. That is, the expectation is that female students at Denison University will not exhibit significantly less political engagement than their male counterparts. This will be tested through comparison and regressive analysis.

ANALYSIS While we hypothesized that the gender gap would be either absent or inverted , we actually find that it is somewhat inconsistent even in a small, intimate political community such as Denison University. We examine, in particular, voting behavior, student activism, organizational involvement, and “citizen literacy� or awareness of important campus governance documents. In some cases, the gender gap is negligible and in others it is significant, sometimes favoring the male respondents while at other times favoring the female respondents. With regard to voting behavior, we see three different possibilities for the gender gap. First, in the case of the DCGA Presidential Election voter turnout numbers, we see more or less a wash – both male and female respondents had a turnout rate of approximately 54%. In contrast, however, the DCGA Senate Election turnout showed female respondents engaging with the political process at a rate significantly higher than male respondents. The DCGA Constitutional Referendum showed the opposite: male respondents turned out at almost twice the rate of female respondents to vote and approve a new DCGA Constitution. [Table 2 about here]


Brisson 15 The distinctions here are interesting, but also provide for a more nuanced understanding of the gender effect. The Presidential Election drew both male and female students in roughly equal percentages, demonstrating that this election is less gendered, but the Senate Election appeals more to females (who vote in the same numbers as they did in the Presidential Election). The possible reasons for this are numerous, but it likely relates at least in part to the fact that there are a larger number of candidates in the Senatorial Elections, and females – being more involved in campus life – are more likely to know someone who will count on their vote. The DCGA Constitutional Referendum vote had a significantly larger male turnout, and this is likely because it is a less social and more institutional election, which would appeal more to the male political identity. In both examples of activism we tested, we found a higher turnout percentage of women, although it was only a significant difference in one case. The case which turned out to be a wash was a screening for a student documentary, “More than a Noose,” that retold the story of the student demonstrations that took place on Denison‟s campus in November of 2007. The documentary was followed by a two-hour long discussion about race issues on campus that included several key administrators such as University President Dr. Knobel, Provost Brad Bateman, and Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Kennedy. The fact that the numbers are somewhat equal demonstrates the absence of political participation discrepancies that gender gap theorists would predict. This shows that both men and women are involved in political activism and is consistent with our hypothesis that local issues and smaller communities are better able to motivate the political engagement of women. The second example of activism was the “Rape is not a Joke” rally, which was centered around the clearly gendered issue of sexual assault. When two editors of a student


Brisson 16 publication printed a series of jokes about sexual assault, several student activists involved with the SHARE (Sexual Harassment and Rape Education) advisory council and the Women‟s Resource Center quickly assembled to organize a protest for the very next day. The rally provided speaking opportunities to a whole host of students who wanted their voices and concerns heard. The increased participation of female respondents in this rally is likely at least in part to the gendered focus of the demonstration, but even beyond that it is consistent with our “feminine politics as super-local” hypothesis. Women also are generally more involved in community organizations on campus. The primary exception is with the DCGA Student Senate, where women are significantly less represented than men. In other important community organizations, such as Greek Life and Religious Life, women are much better represented and therefore much more involved in the community, active in the campus‟ politics. The male political identity, along with being focused on larger-scale politics (that is, state, national, and international politics), also seems to be more institutionally interested. This would explain why more male respondents are familiar with the Student Code of Conduct as well as the DCGA Constitution. Familiarity with the Student Code of Conduct is also perhaps less as a result of an interest in community affairs and more as a result of frequent interactions with the office of disciplinary affairs – interactions that are more frequent for male students than female students. That roughly the same percentage of men and women are familiar with Denison‟s Mission Statement (women with a marginal lead), though, reflects that there is at least somewhat of an absence of a gender gap, worthy of consideration. To explore other factors that influence political engagement, regression is used with a variety of independent variables. The first dependent variable we use is the respondent‟s


Brisson 17 answer to a question regarding the likelihood of attending a forum to discuss a challenge facing the community. Beyond this, various demographic variables are employed as well as variables regarding resources like civic skills, time, appreciation of democratic norms, and access to social networks. [Table 3 about here] The demographic variables are important to include because it allows us to understand what aspects of a personâ€&#x;s identity contribute to his or her likelihood to become politically engaged. Racial minorities, having been historically disenfranchised, in some cases can tragically become disinterested in political engagement. With regard to gender, it is important to include as we anticipate a relatively small gap or even no gap at all, since these issues being discussed are more local in character. It is also important to include the variables regarding resources. These include all sorts of different variables: civic skills, attentiveness, heterogeneous networks, openness, academics, extracurricular, and organizational experience. Ultimately, their end is to hold different factors constant to get a clean read on the effects of gender on political engagement. This hypothesis was tested by exploring how academic and extracurricular time commitments affect likeliness to participate in the forum. It turns out that a simple aggregation of time spent on academic and extracurricular commitments does not present a significant correlation; however, each separately has a significant correlation pulling participation in different directions. [Table 4 about here] Students who spent more time on academics identified themselves as less likely to attend a forum on a campus issue. This seems to affirm research that suggests that “free


Brisson 18 time� is a substantial factor in determining how likely an individual is to participate in a deliberative forum (Cook et al.). Time spent on extracurricular activities, however, is correlated in the opposite direction. The more time students spend on extracurricular activities, the more likely they are to participate. There are two potential explanations for this: (1.) extracurricular time is free time, and more extracurricular time is in fact a resource in itself, and (2.) students develop civic skills in their involvement with extracurricular activities such as sports teams, Greek organizations, advocacy groups, and the like, and these skills are a resource that enables students to participate more competently. Both factors are likely to be at play in this model. Our model is consistent with previous research that suggests an influence of civic skills on the willingness of community members to participate in a forum. In addition to the potential role civic skills play in the extracurricular variable, we also explored whether students had demonstrated civic skills in publishing written works, speaking in a group meeting, or other similar situations. It is consistent with our expectations that this hypothesis was reaffirmed within our study. The openness of student networks was consistently correlated with their likelihood of participation. This is not surprising, as students in open networks are more connected to the campus community as a whole and therefore more likely to feel invested in the challenges that it addresses. Attentiveness to campus affairs is also seen as being strongly correlated, which is no surprise. After all, attentiveness is simply another series of choices: whether to read the Denisonian, whether to talk to student representatives, etc. These choices seem to be motivated by the same principles that would motivate involvement in a campus forum.


Brisson 19 Organizational experience also proved to have a significant correlation with the willingness to participate in the forum. Here, organizational experience is operationalized by the sheer quantity of unique extracurricular activities. This was then tested for correlation with whether a student is likely to participate; this is in contrast with the quantity of time spent on extracurricular activities overall. It turns out that the number of organizations in which a student participated explained more variance than the amount of time they spend in those organizations. A likely explanation for this is that students with more experience in different groups are more inclined to take part in discussions in a new group as they have experience speaking to a more diverse group. It seems that homogenous networks are correlated with lower participation rates. This is not only a positive thing for deliberations (as these individuals are able to serve as connectors to help students with perhaps little else in common but a common friend relate with each other), but it is also reasonable, as those who embrace difference in their networks are also often the same types of people who would embrace the opportunity to discuss issues in a public forum. We also found that gender was negatively correlated with willingness to participate, in contradiction with our hypothesis, although this correlation was not particularly strong and may just be coincidence. A larger sample could help discern whether this is meaningful, and it would also be helpful to be able to compare it to a likeliness to participate in a debate regarding national political affairs. It is possible that there is still a gender gap locally, but it simply is significantly smaller. Other than whether or not respondents were willing to attend a public forum, we also explored three other variables to get a sense of political engagement at this super-local level. First, involvement in the community is examined to determine how various factors


Brisson 20 relate. Second, we look at the self-reported efficacy of the individual to determine whether gender has a significant impact on how able respondents feel to make changes on Denison‟s campus. [Table 5 about here] We find only few significant factors that affect the political character and engagement of an individual. One that is significant for both community involvement and self-reported qualifications is an appreciation for democratic norms. It should come as no surprise that an individual that better understands the importance of disagreement and diversity in society would be more likely to become involved and feel more qualified to craft change on campus. There is also a somewhat significant depressing effect on involvement by time spent on academics. This, naturally, is because time is a scarce resource, and those who spend more time on academics can afford less time to spend in the realm of organizational life and must therefore be choosier. The effect, however, is slight. It is important to note that gender is positively correlated with all three variables, even though not all correlations are significant at this sample size. In particular, our regression demonstrates that female community members are politically engaged in the forms of more involvement (p<.10) and higher political efficacy (p<.01). This is consistent with our hypothesis, as women at Denison are more politically engaged then men. This, we posit, is as a result of the local and intimate character of Denison‟s political culture – the campus as “super-local.”

CONCLUSION


Brisson 21 When conversations take place about the gender gap in political science, there always seems to be a privileging of national, large-scale politics as more legitimate than communitybased, relatively intimate political behavior; however, political behavior in truth encompasses local community involvement and even community service as well, and these are areas where women tend to outperform men. This truth calls for a rethinking of what we know as a â&#x20AC;&#x153;gender gapâ&#x20AC;? that simply identifies a misalignment of two distinct political identities: the masculine political identity and the feminine political identity. The masculine conception of political engagement seems focused primarily on two areas: (1.) large-scale, big-picture politics, such being in contact with your congressman or running for office and (2.) a fondness for institutions and rules, which explains an increased awareness. This explains why, even in local affairs, male respondents reported higher turnout at the DCGA Constitutional Referendum or higher awareness of the DCGA Constitution. This also could explain why men are more likely to run for student government â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a passion for the institutional element of political life. On the other hand, the feminine conception of political engagement is much more social and perhaps more abstract. Politics, though, does not only include formal institutions, but also participation in community life and social demonstrations. In more intimate political arenas, women are more present, more engaged, and perhaps even more effective. This is why we see women turnout in higher percentages to demonstrations and more involved in social community organizations on campus. By narrowly defining political engagement encompassing only its masculine elements, we neglect an important part of what it means to truly be political. Politics is more than institutional behavior but also a manner of interacting within a group and becoming


Brisson 22 involved and invested in a community. Both the masculine and feminine political identities are essential to sustaining a healthy democracy. Also, since gender groups are politically distinct, it is important to understand why one gender may be better represented in some circumstances. A political system that is excessively institutional may, in turn, discourage female engagement â&#x20AC;&#x201C; in turn disenfranchising the female voice. This can be especially problematic if the policy solutions are particularly gendered, as is for example the proposal to reduce the presence of security in residence halls in Figure 3. In order to foster engagement with both the masculine and feminine political identities, a government must intentionally engage both conceptions of political life. By understanding how local, communitarian politics can be more enticing to female citizens, we can better explore methods of closing the national political engagement gap. Further, less of a focus on institutions and more of a focus on the social interactions between different parties and individuals would allow many women to better connect with their government. It has been decades since the gender gap has been identified, and yet it still has not closed even with women taking on a more prominent role in society. Perhaps by playing to these differences in the masculine and feminine psyche, we can work to build a government that truly incorporates both perspectives to more perfectly serve the people as a whole.


APPENDIX A: TABLES TABLE 1 Survey Respondents, by Treatments Poll #1

Forum

Poll #2

N

Attended Forum …Poll #1 and #2 …Poll #1 Only

O O

D D

O --

90 26

Did Not Attend Forum …Poll #1 Only …Poll #2 Only …Poll #1 and #2

O -O

----

-O O

473 344 357

902

116

701

1,259

Total N

Source: The Big Red Poll 2010. Note: Not all respondents completed every question, resulting in a lower respondent numbers for some questions.

TABLE 2 Political Participation Rates, by Gender Voting DCGA Presidential Election DCGA Senate Election DCGA Constitutional Referendum

Male 54.1% 49.5% 18.4%

Female 53.2% 53.2% 10.8%

Activism “Rape is not a Joke” Rally “More than a Noose” Screening

Male 26.6% 14.6%

Female 34.5% 15.8%

Involvement Student Government Greek Life Religious Life

Male 11.0% 37.6% 9.2%

Female 3.6% 43.9% 15.8%

Citizen Literacy* Denison Mission Statement Student Code of Conduct DCGA Constitution

Male 66.0% 66.0% 18.4%

Female 66.9% 55.4% 7.9%

Source: The Big Red Poll 2010. See Appendix B for full coding of variables. * Respondents were asked if they had read each of the documents.


Brisson 24

TABLE 3 Variable Descriptives Variable Willingness to Participate Race Gender Democratic Values Civic Skills Campus Attentiveness Group Heterogeny Group Openness Time: Academics Time: Extracurriculars Organizational Experience

N Min. 745 1 660 0 663 1 787 3 668 0 802 0 802 0 802 0 671 0 671 0 656 0

Max. 6 1 2 12 4 8 12 3 48 20 10

Mean Std. Dev. 4.04 1.344 .07 .255 1.61 .488 5.507 1.540 2.078 1.486 3.291 2.071 7.089 2.791 1.201 1.142 7.44 4.384 3.19 2.175 3.360 1.721

Source: The Big Red Poll 2010. See Appendix B for full coding of variables.

TABLE 4 Factors Influencing Willingness to Participate in Campus Discussions B

Std. Dev

Sig

Constant

3.105

.330

.000

Biographical Factors Race (Black) Gender (Female)*

.314 -.182

.207 .107

.130 .088

Resource Factors Democratic Values* Civic Skills** Campus Attentiveness*** Group Homogeneity*** Group Openness* Time: Academics** Time: Extracurriculars* Organizational Experience**

.063 .082 .157 -.078 .097 -.028 .051 .083

.033 .038 .034 .022 .051 .013 .027 .033

.058 .032 .000 .001 .057 .029 .063 .012

Source: The Big Red Poll 2010 (R2=.135, SEE=1.258) Significance: * < .10, ** < .05, and *** < .01.


Brisson 25

TABLE 5 Factors Affecting Political Character Involvement

Self-Reported Efficacy

Self-Reported Qualifications

Constant

2.252

1.514

.433

Biographical Factors Race (White) Gender (Female)

-.011*** .243*

.320 .140***

.141 .080

Behavioral Factors Democratic Values Civic Skills Campus Attentiveness Network Homogeneity Time: Academic Time: Extracurricular

.031** .308 .254 -.111 -.041* .146

.006 .043 .033 -.053 -.011 .022

.071** -.052 -.039 -.020 -.024 .039

Source: The Big Red Poll 2010 (R2=.133, .087, .075) Significance: * < .10, ** < .05, and *** < .01. All coefficients provided with Beta weights


Brisson 26 FIGURE 1 Disagreement at Denison: A Public Opinion Snapshot

Strongly Agree

"Denison Security should be less present in the residence halls."

Agree

Somewhat Agree

89

"Racial diversity should be a higher priority in admissions."

96

38

68

"Denison Faculty should be required to report the names of sexual assault victims to law enforcement."

72

0%

172

85

156

117

10%

Disagree

125

94

"Students at Denison drink too much."

Somewhat Disagree

20%

30%

Source: The Big Red Poll 2010.

150

102

161

82

113

126

40%

60%

39

54

137

121

50%

Strongly Disagree

44

93

70%

80%

74

90%

100%


FIGURE 2 Gender Effects on Policy Opinion: Sexual Assault

"Sexual assault is a serious problem on Denison's campus" Female

27

Male

22

11 0%

52

10 10%

28 20%

30%

21

19 40%

50%

14

5

36 60%

70%

9 80%

90%

100%

"Perpetrators of sexual assault are dealt with appropriately by the student conduct process" Female

4

Male

3

0%

18

39

22

10%

26

33

20%

30%

31

19

40%

50%

23

22

60%

70%

14

80%

90%

100%

"Denison faculty should be required to report the names of sexual assault victims to law enforcement." Female

18

Male

40

16

0%

20

10%

Strongly Agree

23

21

20%

30%

Agree

Somewhat Agree

Source: The Big Red Poll 2010

40%

27

17

28

50%

60%

Somewhat Disagree

17

17

70%

80%

Disagree

11

90%

100%

Strongly Disagree


Brisson 28 FIGURE 3 Gender Effects on Policy Opinion: Campus Culture

"Students at Denison drink too much." Female

14

Male

5

21

38

9

0%

26

24

10%

20%

27

29 30%

40%

15

37 50%

60%

70%

80%

90%

100%

"Racial diversity should be a higher priority in admissions."

Female

Male

14

28

3 0%

16

38

39

32

10%

20%

24

30%

40%

50%

11

12

21 60%

70%

80%

90%

100%

"Denison security should be less present in the residence halls." Female

19

Male

15

34

42

34 0%

10%

Strongly Agree

36 20%

30%

40%

Agree

Somewhat Agree

22

16 50%

60%

Somewhat Disagree

9

14

70%

80%

Disagree

11 90%

100%

Strongly Disagree


Brisson 29 FIGURE 4 Gender Effects on Policy Opinion: Various Proposals Power and Justice GE Requirement Female

85

Male

27 0%

31

8 10%

47

28

20

20%

30%

47

27

25 40%

62

35

15

50%

60%

10 22

16

28 70%

27

15

29

7

42

80%

90%

100%

Merit-Based Lottery Female

84

Male

37 0%

29

12

10%

54

27

51

30

20%

30%

35

19

29

40%

50%

35

14 23

10 13 60%

21

70%

34

15

13

29

45

80%

90%

100%

Kegs on Campus Female

63

Male

46 0%

10%

19

37

12 20%

34

23

30 27

30%

85 19

40%

18 49

50%

24

13

60%

70%

28 16

17 17

47

4

80%

30

90%

100%

Gender Neutral Housing Female

58

Male

12

17

65 0%

10%

20%

30%

15 9

40%

Support

Source: The Big Red Poll 2010

50%

60%

7 10

70% Oppose

10 5 80%

8

6

4

6

10

2

90%

100%


Brisson 30

APPENDIX C: VARIABLE CODING AND SYNTAX

Willingness to Attend “As part of a joint effort between DCGA, WDUB, The Bullsheet, and The Denisonian, we are going to sponsor a forum devoted to one of the issues listed on the previous page, in which participants will deliberate with a small group of about 4-5 people to decide what Denison's policy on this should be. The results will be covered by campus media and DCGA members will be informed about the outcomes you decide as a group. Invitations will be issued in the coming weeks. Given this, how likely do you think you would accept an invitation and attend?” Civic Skills Index Respondents were asked if they had done the following: organized a meeting, given a formal presentation, written a paper or article read by a group or the public, or been involved in a decisionmaking meeting. Respondents were given one point for each activity, resulting in a five-point scale from zero to four. Higher scores signify greater development of civic skills. Campus Attentiveness Index Respondents were asked which of the following activities they did to learn about campus affairs: reading the Denisonian, reading the Bullsheet, attending student organization meetings, talking with student organization leaders, talking with student senators, talking with involved students, visiting the Denison website, or listening to WDUB. Respondents were given one point for each activity they completed, creating a nine-point index that scaled from zero to eight. Network Openness Respondents were asked if the students they listed knew the others listed. Respondent receives one point for each discussion partner who does not others listed. Time: Academics Respondents answered the following question: “Changing subjects, thinking about an average day, please tell us how many hours a day do you spend doing the following at Denison: attending courses and doing work related to classes?”


Brisson 31

Time: Extracurricular Activities Respondents answered the following question: “Changing subjects, thinking about an average day, please tell us how many hours a day do you spend doing the following at Denison: extracurricular activities, groups, and teams?” Organizational Experience / Involvement Respondents answered the following question: “How many campus organizations (including Greeks), teams, and activities are you involved in currently?” Self-Reported Efficacy Respondents asked to agree or disagree with the following statement: “People like me don‟t have much say over what Denison does.” Responses range from 1 (agree) to 4 (disagree) Self-Reported Qualifications Respondents answered the following question: “How many campus organizations (including Greeks), teams, and activities are you involved in currently?” Network Homogeneity Index This index is aggregated of five sub-scores: organizational homogeneity, racial homogeneity, ideological homogeneity, gender homogeneity, and class year homogeneity. Respondents were asked to name three peers with whom they discuss campus affairs, after which they were asked a series of questions regarding these three discussion partners. Organizational Homogeneity: One point for each discussion partner in a common organization. (range 0 - 3) Racial Homogeneity: One point for each discussion partner of the same race. (range: 0 - 3) Ideological Homogeneity: Aggregate of “How often do you disagree about campus affairs?” (range: 3 - 9) Gender Homogeneity: One point for each discussion partner of the same gender. (range: 0 - 3)


Brisson 32 Class Year Homogeneity: One point for each discussion partner of the same class year. (range 0 - 3) The resulting index ranges from three to twenty-one, with higher numbers indicating a more homogenous group. To reverse this, the index is subtracted from twenty-two to create an index that ranges from one to nineteen with higher numbers indicating great heterogeneity within the respondentâ&#x20AC;&#x;s discussion group. Network Openness Respondents were asked if the students they listed knew the others listed. Respondent receives one point for each discussion partner who does not others listed.


Brisson 33

APPENDIX D: WORKS CONSULTED Almond, Gabriel A., and Sidney Verba. (1963). The Civic Culture: Political Attitudes and Democracy in Five Nations. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Andersen, Kristi. 1975. “Working Women and Political Participation.” American Journal of Political Science 19(3): 439-453. Atkeson, Lonna Rae, and Nancy Carillo. 2007. “More is Better: The Influence of Collective Female Descriptive Representation on External Efficacy.” Politics and Gender 3(1): 79-101. Atkeson, Lonna Rae, and Ronald B. Rapoport. 2003. “The More Things Change the More They Stay the Same: Examining Gender Differences in Political Attitude Expression, 1952-2000.” Public Opinion Quarterly 67(4): 495-521. Atkeson, Lonna Rae. 2003. “Not All Cues Are Created Equal: The Conditional Impact of Female Candidates on Political Engagement.” Journal of Politics 65(4): 1040-1061. Barabas, Jason. 2004. “How Deliberation Affects Policy Opinions.” American Political Science Review 98 (4): 687–702. Bobo, Lawrence, and Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. 1990. “Race, Sociopolitical Participation, and Black Empowerment.” American Political Science Review 84(2): 377-393. Box-Steffensmeier, Janet M., Suzanna De Boef, and Tse-Min Lin. 2004. “The Dynamics of the Partisan Gender Gap.” American Political Science Review 98(3): 515-525. Brady, Henry, Sidney Verba, and Kay Lehman Schlozman. 1995. “Beyond SES: A Resource Model of Political Participation.” American Political Science Review 89 (2): 271–94. Bratton, Kathleen A. 2002. “The Effect of Legislative Diversity on Agenda-Setting: Evidence from Six State Legislatures.” American Politics Research 30(2): 115-142. Bratton, Kathleen A., and Kerry L. Haynie. 1999. “Agenda Setting and Legislative Success in State Legislatures: The Effects of Gender and Race.” Journal of Politics 61(3): 658-679.


Brisson 34 Burns, Nancy, Kay Lehman Schlozman, and Sidney Verba. 2001. The Private Roots of Public Action: Gender, Equality, and Political Participation. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Burrell, Barbara C. 1994. A Woman’s Place Is in the House: Campaigning for Congress in the Feminist Era. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Campbell, Andrea L. 2003. “Participatory reactions to policy threats: Senior citizens and the defense of Social Security and Medicare.” Political Behavior 25(1): 29-49. Campbell, David E., and Christina Wolbrecht. 2006. “See Jane Run: Women Politicians as Role Models for Adolescents.” Journal of Politics 68(2): 233-247. Carroll, Susan. 1987. “Women‟s Autonomy and the Gender Gap: 1980 and 1982.” In The Politics of the Gender Gap, ed. Carol M. Mueller. Beverly Hills, CA: SAGE. Chaney, Carole K., R. Michael Alvarez, and Jonathan Nagler. 1998. “Explaining the Gender Gap in the U.S. Presidential Elections, 1980-1992.” Political Research Quarterly 51(2): 311-340. Clark, Janet, and Cal Clark. 1996. “The Gender Gap: A Manifestation of Women‟s Dissatisfaction with the American Polity?” In Broken Contract? Changing Relationships between Americans and Their Government, ed. Stephen Craig. Boulder, CO: Westview. Cook, Fay L., Michael X. Delli-Carpini, and Lawrence R. Jacobs. 2008. “Who Deliberates? Discursive Participation in America.” IPR Working Paper WP-05-08. Dabelko, Kirsten la Cour, and Paul S. Herrnson. 1997. “Women‟s and Men‟s Campaigns for the U.S. House of Representatives.” Political Research Quarterly 50(1): 121-135. Delli Carpini, Michael X., and Ester R. Fuchs. 1993. “The Year of the Woman? Candidates, Voters, and the 1992 Elections.” Political Science Quarterly 108(1): 29-36. Djupe, Paul A., Anand E. Sokhey, and Christopher P. Gilbert. (2007). “Present but Not Accounted For? Gender Differences in Civic Resource Acquisition.” American Journal of Political Science 51(4): 906-920.


Brisson 35 Fox, Richard L., and Robert A. Schuhmann. 1999. “Gender and Local Government: A Comparison of Women and Men City Managers.” Public Administration Review 59(3): 231-242. Gamson, William A. 1990. The Strategy of Social Protest, 2nd ed. Homewood, IL: Dorsey. Gay, Claudine. 2002. “Spirals of Trust? The Effect of Descriptive Representation on the Relationship between Citizens and Their Government.” American Journal of Political Science 46(4): 717-732. Gibson, James L. 1992. “The Political Consequences of Intolerance: Cultural Conformity and Political Freedom.” American Political Science Review 86(2): 338-356. Gittell, Marilyn, Isolda Ortega-Bustamante, and Tracy Steffy. 2000. “Social Capital and Social Change: Women‟s Community Activism.” Urban Affairs Review 36(2): 123-147. Goidel, Kirby and Matthew Nisbet. 2006. “Exploring the Roots of Public Participation in the Controversy Over Embryonic Stem Cell Research and Cloning.” Political Behavior 28(2): 175192. Gurin, Patricia, Arthur H. Miller, and Gerald Gurin. 1980. “Stratum Identification and Consciousness.” Social Psychology Quarterly 43(1): 30-47. Hansen, Susan B. 1997. “Talking about Politics: Gender and Contextual Effects on Political Proselytizing.” Journal of Politics 59(1): 73-103. Herek, Gregory M. 2002. “Gender Gaps in Public Opinion about Lesbians and Gay Men.” Public Opinion Quarterly 66(1): 40-66. Hilley, Janet. 2006. “Celebration of the ordination of women.” <http://oga.pcusa.org/ga217/newsandphotos/ga06094.htm>. Accessed 3-25-2011. Howell, Susan E., and Christine L. Day. 2000. “Complexities of the Gender Gap.” Journal of Politics 62(3): 858-874.


Brisson 36 Huckfeldt, R. Robert. (1979). “Political Participation and the Neighborhood Social Context.” American Journal of Political Science 23 (3): 579–92. Huddy, Leonie, and Nayda Terkildsen. 1993. “Gender Stereotypes and the Perception of Male and Female Candidates.” American Journal of Political Science 37(1): 119-147. Jasper, James M. 1997. The Art of Moral Protest: Culture, Biography, and Creativity in Social Movements. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Kahn, Kim Fridkin. 1993. “Gender Differences in Campaign Messages: The Political Advertisements of Men and Women Candidates for U.S. Senate.” Political Research Quarterly 46(3): 481-502. Kahn, Kim Fridkin. 1994. “Does Gender Make a Difference? An Experimental Examination of Sex Stereotypes and Press Patterns in Statewide Campaigns.” American Journal of Political Science 28(1): 162-196. Kaufmann, Karen M. 2002. “Culture Wars, Secular Realignment, and the Gender Gap in Party Identification.” Political Behavior 24(3): 283-307. Kaufmann, Karen M. 2006. “The Gender Gap.” PS: Political Science & Politics 39(July): 447-453. Kaufmann, Karen M., and John R. Petrocik. 1999. “The Changing Politics of American Men: Understanding the Sources of the Gender Gap.” American Journal of Political Science 43(4): 864-887. Kinder, Donald. 1986. “Presidential Character Revisited.” In Political Cognition, ed. Richard R. Lau and David O. Sears. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. Lawless, Jennifer L. 2004. “Politics of Presence? Congresswomen and Symbolic Representation.” Political Research Quarterly 57(1): 81-99. Leighley, Jan E. (1990). “Social Interaction and Contextual Influences on Political Participation.” American Politics Quarterly 18: 459–75.


Brisson 37 Leighley, Jan E. (1996). “Group Membership and the Mobilization of Political Participation.” Journal of Politics 58(2): 447–63. Mutz, Diana C. 2002. “The Consequences of Cross-Cutting Networks for Political Participation.” American Journal of Political Science 46 (4): 838–55. Norrander, Barbara. 1999. “The Evolution of the Gender Gap.” Public Opinion Quarterly 63(4): 566576. Paolino, Philip. 1995. “Group-Salient Issues and Group Representation: Support for Women Candidates in the 1992 Senate Elections.” American Journal of Political Science 39(2): 294-313. Philpot, Tasha S., and Haynes Walton, Jr. 2007. “One of Our Own: Black Female Candidates and the Voters Who Supported Them.” American Journal of Political Science 51(1): 49-62. Pitkin, Hanna F. 1967. The Concept of Representation. Berkeley: University of California Press. Rahn, Wendy M. 1993. “The Role of Partisan Stereotypes in Information Processing about Political Candidates.” American Journal of Political Science 37(2): 472-496. Rosenstone, Steven J., and John Mark Hansen. (1993). Mobilization, Participation, and Democracy in America. New York: Macmillan. Rosenthal, Cindy Simon. 1995. “The Role of Gender in Descriptive Representation.” Political Research Quarterly 48(3): 599-611. Rosenthal, Cindy Simon. 1998a. “Determinants of Collaborative Leadership: Civic Engagement, Gender, or Organizational Norms?” Political Research Quarterly 51(4): 847-868. Rosenthal, Cindy Simon. 1998b. When Women Lead: Integrative Leadership in State Legislatures. New York: Oxford University Press. Sanbonmatsu, Kira. 2002. “Gender Stereotypes and Vote Choice.” American Journal of Political Science 46(1): 20-34.


Brisson 38 Sanbonmatsu, Kira. 2003. “Gender-Related Political Knowledge and the Descriptive Representation of Women.” Political Behavior 25(4): 367-388. Sapiro, Virginia. 1982. “If U.S. Senator Baker Were a Woman: An Experimental Study of Candidate Images.” Political Psychology 3(1): 61-83. Schlozman, Kay Lehman, Nancy Burns, and Sidney Verba. 1999. “„What Happened at Work Today?‟ A Multi-Stage Model of Gender, Employment, and Political Participation. Journal of Politics 61(1): 29-54. Schwadel, Philip. (2005). “Individual, Congregational, and Denominational Effects on Church Members‟ Civic Participation.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 44(2): 159-171. Shapiro, Robert Y., and Harpreet Mahajan. 1986. “Gender Differences in Policy Preferences: A Summary of Trends from the 1960s and 1980s.” Public Opinion Quarterly 50(1): 42-61. Smith, Eric R. A. N., and Richard L. Fox. 2001. “The Electoral Fortunes of Women Candidates for Congress.” Political Research Quarterly 54(1): 205-221. Swers, Michele L. 2002. The Difference Women Make: The Policy Impact of Women in Congress. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Tarrow, Sidney. 1998. Power in Movement, 2nd ed. New York: Cambridge University Press. Trevor, Margaret C. 1999. “Political Socialization, Party Identification, and the Gender Gap.” Public Opinion Quarterly 63(1): 62-78. Vega, Arturo, and Juanita M. Firestone. 1995. “The Effects of Gender on Congressional Behavior and the Substantive Representation of Women.” Legislative Studies Quarterly 20(2): 213-222. Verba, Sidney, Kay Lehman Schlozman, and Henry E. Brady. 1995. Voice and Equality: Civic Voluntarism in American Politics. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Warren, Mark E. (2001). Democracy and Association. Princeton: Princeton University Press.


Brisson 39 Warren, Mark R. (2001). Dry Bones Rattling: Community Building to Revitalize American Democracy. Princeton: Princeton University Press.


Brisson 40

APPENDIX E: DELIBERATION BRIEFING MATERIALS Dear Discussant, First of all, thank you for taking the time to participate in today‟s deliberation. Below you will find information regarding the issue you will be asked to discuss. After everyone has viewed the briefing materials, the discussion will begin. Discussion groups are encouraged to draft a policy for the university regarding this issue. This policy can be consistent with the current policy if the group so decides. The structure of the discussion will be left to your group to establish. After 45 minutes of deliberation, we will ask you to take a quick survey regarding the discussions and any consensus established. The Question: Should Denison adopt a policy that would permit residential Greek life on campus? If so, what would this policy look like? What strengths and weaknesses would this policy bear? Background: Fraternities were permitted to live in their houses at Denison up until 1994, when then-President Michelle Myers lead the administration in removing Denison Greeks from their houses. The decision was made because, at the time, the Greek system was seen by the administration and faculty as interfering with Denison‟s academic mission, exposing the university to legal liability problems, and leaving fraternities struggling to financially maintain their houses. However, some students argue that the nature of Greek life on campus has changed, resulting in a new call to bring Greeks back to residential status. There are many questions to consider when evaluating such a policy, including, but not limited to:        

How could residential Greek life contribute to social space on campus? Would residential Greek life again interfere with Denison‟s academic goals? How would residential Greek life affect relations with Denison alumni? How would residential Greek life affect organizations not owning houses? Would Greek organizations again struggle with financing their houses? How would residential Greek life contribute to interactions among Denison‟s increasing diverse student body? How would residential Greek life impact gender issues on Denison‟s campus? In what ways would adopting residential Greek life be consistent or inconsistent with the Denison University Mission Statement (see attached)?

At the end of the discussion, each member will be asked to provide their position on the deliberated question. These responses will be made available to both student media and relevant campus administrators. Happy Deliberating, The Students in the Political Science Senior Seminar


Brisson 41

RELEVANT TABLES AND FIGURES

** 3.43 3.09 2.96 2.95 ** 2.87 2.88 2.92

20.3 18 8 6 12 -

4 54 44 37 46 3 43 47 49

Owns House

Membership

Alpha Phi Alpha Beta Theta Pi Delta Chi Kappa Sigma Lambda Chi Alpha Phi Beta Sigma Phi Delta Theta Sigma Chi Sigma Phi Epsilon

Service Hrs per Member

Fraternity Name

Average GPA*

TABLE 1 Statistics Regarding Denison Fraternities, Spring 2010

✓ ✓

Source: Denison University Office of Greek Life Materials * Avg Men‟s GPA: 2.96 ** Average GPAs of organizations with less than five members omitted. - Data not reported to Office of Greek Life

Membership

Owns House

Alpha Kappa Alpha Delta Delta Delta Delta Gamma Kappa Alpha Theta Kappa Kappa Gamma Pi Beta Phi

Service Hrs per Member

Sorority Name

Average GPA*

TABLE 2 Statistics Regarding Denison Sororities, Spring 2010

** 3.13 3.32 3.30 3.29 3.16

8 5 28 9.6

4 78 89 100 100 97

✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓

Source: Denison University Office of Greek Life Materials * Avg Women‟s GPA: 3.268 ** Average GPAs of organizations with less than five members omitted. - Data not reported to Office of Greek Life


Brisson 42

FIGURE 1 Percentage of Greek Affiliated Students at Denison University, 1968-2010 90.0% 80.0% 70.0% 60.0% 50.0% 40.0% 30.0% 20.0% 10.0% 0.0% 1968

1974

1980

1986

1992

1998

2004

2010

FIGURE 2 Number of Greek Affiliated Men and Women, 1968-2010 900

Men

800

Women

700 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 1968

1974

1980

1986

1992

1998

2004

2010


Brisson 43

DENISON UNIVERSITY MISSION STATEMENT Our purpose is to inspire and educate our students to become autonomous thinkers, discerning moral agents and active citizens of a democratic society. Through an emphasis on active learning, we engage students in the liberal arts which fosters self-determination and demonstrates the transformative power of education. We envision our students' lives as based upon rational choice, a firm belief in human dignity and compassion unlimited by cultural, racial, sexual, religious or economic barriers, and directed toward an engagement with the central issues of our time. Our curriculum balances breadth with depth, building academic specialization upon a liberal arts foundation in the arts, the sciences, the social sciences and the humanities. Responsive to new ways of learning, we continue to develop interdisciplinary integration of the many forms of knowledge. While our students pursue specialized learning in their chosen majors, they also develop the framework for an integrated intellectual life, spiritually and morally informed. Our faculty is committed to undergraduate education. As teacher-scholar-advisors, their principal responsibility is effective teaching informed by the best scholarship. Faculty members place a priority on close interaction with students, interactive learning, and partnerships with students in original research. Our low student/faculty ratio allows for close supervision of independent research and collaborative work in small groups and classes. We seek to ensure an ever-broader range of racial, ethnic, international and socioeconomic backgrounds in a student body of about 2,000 students. We offer different kinds of financial aid to meet the different needs of our students. The focus of student life at Denison is a concern for the whole person. The University provides a living-learning environment sensitive to individual needs yet grounded in a concern for community, in which the principles of human dignity and ethical integrity are paramount. Students engage in a wide range of co-curricular activities that address the multidimensional character of their intellectual and personal journey. Denison is a community in which individuals respect one another and their environment. Each member of the community possesses a full range of rights and responsibilities. Foremost among these is a commitment to treat each other and the environment with mutual respect, tolerance, and civility.


Brisson 44

APPENDIX F: DELIBERATION MODERATOR SCRIPT Notes: Please follow the following script to minimize discrepancy among groups. In moderating, try to remain as uninvolved as is possible. Only if intervention is necessary for the safety of participants should you intervene. “Hello. Thank you for your attendance here. I have been designated to moderate your group‟s discussion this evening. First, I would like to inform you that your dialog will be recorded during this session, though the recordings will be confidential. Also please, turn off all cell phones. You have received a packet containing three documents. I will draw your attention to the white packet of briefing materials, which will help orient you with regard to this issue. Please take a couple minutes to look over the information presented in this packet.” wait 2 minutes (or until all have reviewed), then ask: “Are there any questions?” (See FAQs for standardized responses) “Tonight, you will be discussing a potential policy relevant to student life on campus. The first document I will ask you to pull out of your envelop is the Big Red Forum Pre Poll, a short survey on lavender paper. Please take a few minutes to fill this out now.” wait until all have completed, then say: “Thank you for filling out that survey. As is written in the briefing materials, your discussion group will be provided 45 minutes to explore the issue and come to a conclusion about the policy you have been presented. During deliberation, please respect one another: try not to interrupt, and do not make personal attacks. I will write on the board when 15 minutes, 30 minutes, and 40 minutes have elapsed. Please keep in mind that, as a moderator, I cannot participate in the deliberation. I can answer some questions about the general format and structure of the forum, but I will not be able to provide additional information, insight, or opinions about the issue beyond what is provided in the packet.” “After the discussion, you will be asked to state your position on the deliberated question in the post survey provided. Your written responses to this survey will be anonymously made available to both student media and relevant campus administrators. Thanks again for your attendance here, and we look forward to your perspective on the campus issue at hand.” Start timer At 15 minutes, write “30 min left” on the white board. At 30 minutes, write “15 min left” on the white board. At 35 minutes: “There are now 10 minutes left. If you would like to come to a consensus and craft a proposal together regarding Greek life on Denison‟s campus, feel free to do so now.” At 40 minutes, write “5 min left” on the white board At 45 minutes: “The 45 minutes of deliberation has elapsed. At this time, please take out the green Big Red Forum Post Survey. First, please turn to the second page and fill in the names of your


Brisson 45 fellow participants. (wait) Take a few a minutes to answer the questions. When you are finished, please place all your materials back into the folder, at which point you are free to leave. Thank you once again for your participation in this deliberative forum.” Wait until participants have put all materials back in the packets, then individually thank them and let them know that they can get their Whit’s without pressuring other students to rush their survey. FAQs Why was this issue picked? In the Big Red Survey, the 800 students responding were most divided in stating their position on this issue. It is also an issue that encompasses within it many other issues facing the campus, allowing for many directions for discussion. Who will be able to access the recordings of the conversation? Only the Dr. Djupe and students of POSC-401 will have access to these recordings. The recordings will not be labeled with the names of participants. Who will see the responses to our surveys? Responses to the post survey will be processed and presented to both student media and administrators of the University‟s Student Affairs division. Why/How was I selected for this forum? You were selected because you filled out the initial survey where you stated your opinion on various campus issues, and because you were deemed to have a perspective important to this conversation. Why should I participate? What’s in it for me? In addition to free Whit‟s after the deliberations, your opinion will be provided to both student media and university administration, allowing your voice to be heard. Can I see the results? We can provide access to the findings of these deliberations. For more information, please contact Dr. Djupe. Question about Policy I‟m sorry. While I can address questions regarding process and procedure, I cannot provide information regarding the policy or the issue outside of what is provided within the white packet of briefing materials.


Gender and the Super-Local