Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

A comparative study of the perceptions of the university environment of candidates for student government positions and other students and the effects of the election experience upon those perceptions Public Deposited

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  • The purposes of this study were to determine whether the generally accepted procedure of campus elections as a method of choosing student government representatives (1) appears to encourage the candidacy of students who hold perceptions of the university environment similar to other students who do not choose to become candidates; (2) results in the election of a group of candidates who perceive their environment in a distinctly different manner from other candidates; (3) is an experience which affects the perceptions of the student candidates in their attitudes toward the university; and (4) is an experience which differentially affects the attitudes of student candidates who win in the elections and those who lose. The study included two groups of male students at Oregon State University. One group included 54 male undergraduates who were candidates for student government offices during the spring quarter, 1970. The comparison group included 67 male undergraduates who were qualified but had not chosen to become candidates. The two groups were compared on the basis of their responses to the College and University Environment Scales before the election campaign began and approximately six weeks later, four weeks after the elections had been completed. The data was subjected to statistical analysis to determine the validity of the following hypotheses: 1. There is no significant difference in the perception of the university environment (as measured by the seven scales of the College and University Environment Scales of students who are candidates for student government elected offices and students who are not candidates. 2. There is no significant difference in the perception of the university environment (as measured by the seven scales of the College and University Environment Scales) between student candidates when measured before the election process which would distinguish those who later won or lost the elections. 3. There is no significant difference in the change of perception of the university environment (as measured by the seven scales of the College and University Environment Scales) of students who participate in the election experience from those students who are not candidates. 4. There is no significant difference in the change of perception of the university environment (as measured by the seven scales of the College and University Environment Scales) of the winners of the student government elections compared to the losers of the student government elections, between winners and non-candidates, or between losers and non-candidates. Significance levels were accepted at the .05 level of confidence. The following conclusions were drawn from the findings of the study: 1. Students who chose to become candidates for student government elections differed in their perceptions of the university environment from students who did not choose to become candidates. 2. Students who were ultimately successful in winning elections differed significantly in their perceptions of the university environment from those students who were ultimately unsuccessful candidates. 3. The student election experience did not significantly affect the perceptions of the university environment of students seeking student government office, whether the students won or lost in the elections. The two major limitations of the study were (1) the comparison group in the study consisted of male undergraduates who were eligible to seek student government offices and does not represent the male undergraduate population at large; and (2) the candidate population in this study is small. When a small population is considered, differences between groups must be relatively large for tests of significance to reach the conventional .05 level.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Patricia Black(patricia.black@oregonstate.edu) on 2014-01-22T20:37:30Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 GassertLelandC1971.pdf: 657694 bytes, checksum: 7a11e4e71d453109b0678c0ac702af41 (MD5)
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