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The Daily Tar Heel

Students Feel Effects Of Sept. 11

A survey of college students taken recently found that 75 percent think President Bush is doing a good job.

According to the survey, 22 percent of college students stated that they are spending more time studying, 32 percent are praying more, and 24 percent have increased volunteer time in their communities.

In January, more than 600 college students from across the nation were polled on the impact that the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks have had on their daily lives. The survey results were released Feb. 7.

The study was sponsored by the Independent Women's Forum, a nonprofit educational foundation.

Kate Kennedy, campus project director for the IWF, said the data regarding presidential approval was especially surprising.

Seventy-five percent of students polled said President Bush is doing a good job in office.

"In context of the general electorate, the results mirror America as a whole," Kennedy said.

She pointed out that college students have been considered the most liberal portion of American society.

In the IWF study alone, 55 percent of students identified themselves as liberal.

The research study also indicated that college women are more concerned with resolving the terrorist threat, while their male counterparts thought that economic issues were more important.

"This study is the distinction between the way the two sexes think," Kennedy said. "Here is woman, who is the natural nurturer, and here is man, who is conditioned to be the bread winner."

Glen Elder, a professor of sociology at UNC, also acknowledged the gender-based priority differences shown by the survey.

"Women play a central role in maintaining relationships," he said. "Terrorism is a threat to relationships."

The results of the study also indicate that "vice" activities, such as smoking, drinking and partying have decreased since the attacks, while other social activities like volunteering and studying have increased.

"I'm not surprised that people have gotten more involved in their community," Elder said. "Priorities have shifted."

But he added, "We don't know whether these changes are going to last," citing the fact that church attendance initially increased following Sept. 11 but eventually declined.

Some UNC students also said their perception and priorities have shifted focus since Sept. 11.

Hung Nguyen, a sophomore biology major, said he has placed more value on family since the attacks.

"You start to appreciate things more," Nguyen said.

He also said Bush has gained respect among students for giving solid speeches and unifying the country.

"He proved us all wrong," Nguyen added.

But David Slack, a junior business major, said the events of Sept. 11 have not influenced his study habits.

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He added that life at UNC has returned to a state of normalcy.

"I don't want to be scared," Slack said. "I just want to live my life."

The State & National Editor can be reached at stntdesk@unc.edu.

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