The Arizona Desert Lamp

2009 Campus Policy Survey

Our 2009 Campus Policy Survey asked students and ASUA candidates to choose the policy they most preferred on ten different issues facing student government. But there’s one thing we forgot to mention: the survey questions are a modified Nolan quiz, a tool designed to plot policy preferences on a two-dimensional representation of the political spectrum. In addition to recording the choices of each candidate, we used them to compile a “personal issues” and “economic issues” score for each respondent, which shows where they fall on the policy spectrum and how their views compare to those of students at large.


It’s clear that this year’s candidates want a bigger, broader, more powerful student government. All but one fell in the moderate- to strong-authoritarian quadrant—a proportion well out of whack with the public responses, which were more evenly distributed across the political spectrum. See the charts below for more information:

'09 ASUA Policy Survey

This chart plots candidate policy preferences in red and student preferences in blue, with one axis measuring the degree of economic freedom associated with each policy preference, and another measuring the level personal autonomy afforded by each policy. Darker data points represent multiple responses; student and candidate preferences coincide at the two purple points.

Policy Preference Categories

All but one student government candidate fell in the "Authoritarian" quadrant. Student responses were more evenly distributed. NB: Responses lying on an axis or at the origin are excluded from this chart.


Of 29 total official and write-in candidates, 14 completed the campus policy survey. Two candidates, Chris Nagata and Adam Back, refused to take the survey. A further 13 have not yet submitted their responses. 45 UA students filled out the public survey.

How to use the survey:

While browsing the candidate profiles below, keep a few things in mind. First, economic and personal issues scores are just indicators: a negative score doesn’t necessarily imply bad policy, nor a positive score good policy. Instead, they’re simply measurements of a candidate’s preference with regard to economic and personal freedom. Second, public responses are not necessarily a representative sample of the UA community—just those students who took the time to fill out our survey. Nor is the Nolan chart a scientific tool—but it is a useful political taxonomy and a handy way to think with more clarity about policy preferences. We hope you’ll use it as such.

Full results:

In addition to the summary charts above and candidate profiles below, we created a set of graphs comparing student and candidate responses to each survey question. Graphs, along with the full survey dataset, are available here.

Candidate profiles:


  • Chris Nagata (Refused survey)

Executive Vice President:



5 Responses

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  1. […] finished analyzing the results and preparing candidate profiles, and the results are now available here. But before you click that link, we should come clean: our survey was more than just a way to report […]

  2. […] that can’t turn in an uncompleted form, though, we highly recommend that you check out our campus policy survey results (and, if you haven’t already, fill it out) for some guidance. If the candidate you’re […]

  3. […] Campus Policy Survey: See how candidates responded to our ten-question survey. […]

  4. […] his administrative vice president, former Senator Gabriella Ziccarelli, bothered to fill out the campus policy survey. Neither did seven of the ten elected Senators. To the executive team’s credit, EVP Emily […]

  5. […] like the Senate has another multi-meeting debate ahead of itself. Most of your elected officials decided that you didn’t need to know their stance on the issue during the campaign; but of those that did, two (EVP Fritze and Sen. D. Wallace) […]

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