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Thank you to the students of Macalester College who conducted thorough sociological research on polarization on campus. Read their report below.

by Annika Gutzke, Mellie Ernst, Kylie Grubbs, Sam Brainin, Gabi Maldonado


February 2021

Our survey mission is to get at the heart of polarization in Macalester students and measure how polarized Macalester students are as well as what skills they need to overcome this issue. Some of our key findings indicate that Macalester students as a whole, while they possess some key leadership skills we measured, have a degree of nervousness that prevents them from discussing certain differences and challenges that Americans face.

In spite of the nervousness and feelings of division though, Macalester students are interested in facilitating dialogue with those of varying demographic backgrounds. This level of interest indicates that while Macalester students might not have the capacity to interact with those of different backgrounds at the moment, they would be interested in future opportunities to do so and this level of interaction could help bridge political and demographic based divisions.



Over half of college students surveyed feel nervous interacting with people who hold different political beliefs.

"Students have a desire to discuss with people who are different from them, but they might not have the skills to facilitate these conversations."

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