Caroline Nawrocki (Lafayette College)
In contemporary discourse, some research paints college students as politically disinterested and uninformed as compared with student activists of the 1960s and 1970s, whereas other research states that these students simply engage with political material in different ways than previous generations. This project uses topic modeling in order to investigate the political atmosphere at Lafayette College during two time periods: 1967-1972 (a time of heightened college activism) and 2011-2016, using the college newspaper as a primary source and tools such as Cytoscape, GitHub, Neatline, and Omeka. Through my research, it can be concluded that despite an evident decline in traditional modes of student activism, contemporary college students are still academically invested in political issues and engage with a diversity of political topics through co-curricular life. Additionally, the role of a student newspaper has shifted focus from the main source of information on campuses to be more a supplementary information source.
Caroline Nawrocki is a junior at Lafayette College, majoring in international affairs and minoring in religious studies. She is passionate about politics, traveling, languages, campus newspapers, and writing.