Fall 2002 Survey: Culture
General Purpose | Major Findings | Interview Schedule
Two distinct subcultures that have long been a part of campus life
revolve around participation in sports and the fine arts. The fall 2001
HCSS indicated that sports, if not a coherent subculture, is an important
part of students’ lives at Holy Cross. Eight of nine Holy Cross students
reported that they had played on a high school sport team; one-quarter
were intercollegiate athletes; two-thirds played either a varsity, club,
or intramural sport at Holy Cross; and nearly every student had attended
at least one varsity intercollegiate athletic event at the College.
To complement these data, the fall 2002 survey was designed to learn
about students’ participation in the arts and popular culture. Following
the 1997 nationwide Survey of Public Participation in the Arts (SPPA),
we defined the arts as jazz, classical music, opera, musical plays,
non-musical plays, ballet, and art. In addition to attendance at live
performances and events, we measured personal participation and socialization
into the arts; participation in other leisure activities; and popular
cultural tastes in music, television, films, and fashion.
More specifically, the fall 2002 included questions that addressed
the following topics:
Many of the questions were drawn from the aforementioned SPPA and the
GSS, in particular the 1993 GSS Culture Module. In addition, several
items about media exposure and popular culture were modeled after questions
from national surveys by Gallup, Harris, and other polling agencies.
Using questions from these surveys enabled numerous comparisons of Holy
Cross students with national samples.
Interviews were carried out between October 30 and December 9. A sample
of 290 respondents was randomly selected from the 2,598 Holy Cross students
enrolled and on campus as of October 2002. The population thus excluded,
in addition to those students enrolled in Methods of Social Research,
all students who were studying away or abroad or who had taken a leave
of absence. A total of 256 interviews were completed, yielding an 88
percent response rate and a margin of error of about 6 percent.
Among the 256 respondents, 60 percent were female, 88 percent were white, 95 percent ranged in age from 18 to 21, and 81 percent identified themselves as Catholics. Eighty-one percent of the respondents lived on campus. The percentage of students in each academic class ranged from 22.3 percent for second-year students to 27.7 for fourth-year students.