Often times university faculty and administration can be quite mysterious and difficult to understand. With misconceptions, rumors, and sometimes a large disconnect--accompanied by a lack of communication between the different groups that make up a university--there is often much left to be discovered, and much more desired to be understood. This research and data acquisition was aimed to help bring light to at least one portion of the make-up of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Let the numbers speak for themselves.
In this age of Inclusive Excellence Committees, a strong emphasis on diversity, and a push toward tolerance for all issues of racial, ethnic, gender, and other static status-based forms of diversity often take to the forefront and are the primary emphasis of "forward-thinking" "inclusive" programs. Though these elements of diversity are critical to our society, I believe there is another that is frequently neglected, overlooked, and disregarded--namely Intellectual Diversity. I believe this is the greatest and most pristine form of diversity society can ever have, and without it society cannot advance, grow, and will instead move away from that which generations of individuals have fought (literally and figuratively) to protect and enhance. Universities were and often promote the fact that they are a diverse marketplace of ideas where any and all can fit in and find their niche, but the reality being faced on many campuses (that organizations like F.I.R.E and others are finding) is that Universities often end up being diverse and truly all-inclusive only when it is to their benefit and advantage.
One surefire way I wanted to look into how "diverse" Cal Poly is on an intellectual basis is through party affiliation. Party affiliation often (*NOT always, but often) reflects a certain set of beliefs and values that an individual holds, as reflected through the values, principles, and beliefs of the party the individual ties themselves too. Though in our modern age many individuals are turning away form being tied to a party, or often choose between the "lesser of two evils" and don't entirely align with the party they register with, being registered under a certain political party umbrella reflects an adherence and commitment to at least a majority of the ideas championed by the party one is aligned with. A few questions I pondered through the process:
Though the data acquisition and raw numbers reflected on this site will not answer directly these questions (correlation does not lead to causation), they are still quite interesting to consider. Hopefully this will generate a lively and civil campus discussion on a topic that quite often is disregarded and ignored.
Blog serves as a forum to discuss findings, trends, and implications, as well as to post about updates to the site and/or data.