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Hornet Poll Tabulations Indicate Liberal Trend

Editorial in The Furman Hornet student newspaper, dated November 15, 1957. The editorial discusses freedom of public expression on campus, and the results of a recent anonymous 'Hornet Poll,' showing a 'relatively large number of students favoring total or partial racial integration.' A variety of questions and results about other issues Furman students face are also mentioned.

Hornet Poll Tabulations Indicate Liberal Trend -- During tabulations of the Hornet Poll, taken about two weeks ago, tables of figures showed just expected reaction to those questions posed a representative group of students. But after meticulous analysis, an austere truth once again reflects the innermost conjecture of a Furman student -- that he will express himself freely when he is certain that he will not be held responsible for his emission. One Women's College student, apparently an upperclassman, remarked at the bottom of the ballot, "Thank God that I could say this." What she said, of course, is not available. But why is the student afraid to express himself publicly? Why is he subjected to suppressed emotions, a victim of his own deliberation? Why is a normal, or supposedly so, college student afraid to say that he or she wants to "dance" or "wants more social life?" For this seems to be the problem: Rarely, will a student, for fear of something, state his personal desires if they seem to conflict with those of the Baptist Convention, outside of his closest friends, of course. If the question or situation is pertinent, then the only reasonable method of obtaining a solution is through its hearing. Perhaps proponents of both sides of the dancing and fraternity situation would do well to "talk things over." The conflict developed over the fraternity issue is one caused by ignorance of opposing viewpoints. The Poll, in some instances, was slanted and obviously pointing to an expected answer and therefore serves not as an instrument of opinion but one of recreating awareness of a problem. For example, it is obvious to most students that parking facilities on the Men's Campus are inadequate. But die fact remains that this inadequacy is a result of a lack of geographical space rather than malfeasance on the part of responsible administrative officials. The relatively large number of students favoring total or partial racial integration was not unexpected. Most proponents of integration based their prejudices on Christian principles. Some voters seemed to follow a pattern, particularly those who favored the abolition of fraternities. Of 70 who voted for abolition of the social groups, 14 voted against a joint student body constitution, 34 voted for integration while some refrained from expressing themselves on this question: 39 said that religions activity is underemphasized; 26 voted against a more liberal unlimited cut system; 23 disfavored an extension of the dating time limit at the Women's College; 40 were against political parties; 17 felt that parking facilities were adequate; five felt that intercollegiate athletics were overemphasized; 24 Were against "big-name" band concerts and 19 preferred an eight column Hornet. If percentages are figured for the above, counting some who did not vote on some questions, the percentages seem to run against the norm. For example, half of the 70 voted for integration whereas in the total balloting, only one-third favored mixing of the races. As evidenced in the complete tabulation, the Men's College seemed much more inclined to cast a cautious view towards fraternities than did the Women's College. This also prevailed in questions which directly or indirectly favor more social activity. Taken as a whole, final tabulations seemed to point to a more liberal tone of thought among both men and women students. Indeed, at a liberal arts university, the tone should be such. Furman is an institution of higher learning, a liberal arts university. It is hoped that students, alumni, and administrative officials never lose prescience on this view.