When it comes to politics, the attitude of most college students can be summed up by Clark Gable's line from "Gone With the Wind" -- "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."
A survey conducted last fall by University of California at Los Angeles researchers found only 28.1 percent of college freshmen nationwide considered "keeping up to date with political affairs" to be "essential or very important."
At UNC, 40.3 percent of freshmen gave the same response.
But UNC student political activists say freshmen are essential parts to their organizations -- actively participating in political events and serving as officers.
Craig Warner, chairman of the UNC College Republicans, described freshmen as being "vital" to his organization.
Warner said the lack of political interest on the part of some students was due to cynicism. "I'm prone to think that it's because our president over the last eight years has not behaved in the best manner sometimes," he said.
Susan Navarro, UNC Young Democrats secretary, also said freshmen have played an integral role in the Young Democrats.
"I'm a freshman and most of the executive board this year were freshmen," Navarro said. "This class came in with an awareness of what was going on politically."
She said active political organizations are responsible for the higher rate of political awareness at UNC.