In the fall of 2010, RU Voting launched a longitudinal qualitative research project designed to better understand the contours of students’ political and civic engagement and the attitudes underlying such behavior. The research involved a series of focus groups of Rutgers students enrolled on the New Brunswick campus. Entitled “What RU Thinking?”, the project was led by Professor Elizabeth Matto and a team of undergraduate researchers including two Aresty Research Assistants.
This research project, conducted by Dr. Timothy Vercellotti and RU Voting’s Dr. Elizabeth Matto, measures the dual effects of the use of news magazines in high school social studies courses and the discussion of this information at home on young people’s political knowledge and sense of political efficacy. The research was funded by the Center for Information and Research in Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE).
The Young Elected Leaders Project studied and worked with young people who run for public office. With this work, Eagleton compiled a database of young elected officials to learn about their backgrounds, interests, issue positions, experiences in politics, and aspirations; convened a conference in May 2003; and issued a report entitled Political Generation Next: America’s Young Elected Leaders.
This report, published in spring 2006, evaluates the experiences of college students in the 2004 presidential election. Conducted by the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling and funded by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the report is drawn from the results of the Eagleton National Student Voter Survey which surveyed 1,000 students enrolled in 4-year colleges in key states across the country. The report is designed to serve as a resource for both those in the research community and those conducting youth registration and mobilization efforts.