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College Students Don’t Care About Palestine Very Much

But That Didn’t Stop the Media…

A recent survey conducted by Generation Lab sheds light on the top issues that matter most to college students, offering insights into their priorities and concerns. The findings, released on Tuesday, reveal a diverse range of topics that resonate with this demographic.

Among the issues surveyed, healthcare reform emerged as a clear priority, with 40 percent of college students ranking it in their top three concerns. Following closely behind were education funding and access (38 percent), economic fairness and opportunity (37 percent), racial justice and civil rights (36 percent), climate change (35 percent), and gun control/safety (32 percent). These results underscore the multifaceted nature of students’ interests and the complexity of the challenges they perceive in society.

Surprisingly, the conflict in the Middle East ranked last among the issues considered, with only 13 percent of college students listing it in their top three priorities. This finding contrasts with the recent prominence of campus protests related to the war in Gaza, sparking discussions about the potential impact on youth engagement in the upcoming election.

Despite the visibility of these protests, the survey indicates limited participation among college students, with only 8 percent reporting involvement. Among those who did participate, opinions were divided, with 34 percent expressing support for protests against Israeli action in Gaza and 9 percent supporting pro-Israel demonstrations. However, the majority of respondents (50 percent) chose “none of the above,” highlighting a significant portion of students who remained uninvolved or undecided.

Interestingly, a strong majority of students (81 percent) expressed support for holding protesters accountable for any destruction or illegal activities during demonstrations. This sentiment reflects a commitment to maintaining order and upholding university standards, with a significant portion of respondents endorsing consequences for disruptive behavior.

When asked about specific protest tactics, opinions varied. While only 33 percent considered occupying campus buildings acceptable, a notable 42 percent believed refusing a university order to disperse a tent encampment or protest was justified. Additionally, there were mixed views on blocking students who support Israel from certain spaces on campus, with 10 percent supporting this tactic.

Overall, the survey results offer valuable insights into the diverse perspectives and priorities of college students. From pressing social issues to campus activism, the findings underscore the complexity of youth engagement and the importance of understanding the nuances of student concerns in shaping future policies and initiatives.

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Patrick Zarrelli

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