Meredith College: The All-Girls’ School by Ashleigh Phillips and Emily Gamiel, co-editors, data collected by staff image via Garry Walton Upon entering the gates of Meredith, you realize that this college is a unique and close knit community. This atmo sphere, according to the mission state ment, “educates and inspires students to live with integrity and provide leadership for4h«-needs, opportuni- - ties and challenges of society.” But is this view reflected in our reputation outside of the gates? “What’s your impression of Meredith College?” We asked this question to 75 different people around the Triangle who have no Meredith affiliation and recorded their immediate responses. This was the basis for an experiment that we thought was necessary for our campus. Our demographic was a small sam pling and by no means represents the entire Triangle. However, these 37 women and 38 men were found in a wide range of Meredith College on any given day. Although 43% of our responses were collected from people between the ages of 20 and 30, the rest of the people we asked ranged from 16 to 69 years of age. We intended to compare the collect ed responses with the values that our website claims “serve as the founda tion for our programs, our interac tions with each other and our outreach beyond the campus.” Those vaules are as follows: integrity, intellectual freedom, academic excellence, re sponsible global citizenship, personal development, religious diversity and relevance. The problem that we encountered when analyzing the data was that only one of the values were mentioned: academic excellence. It was referred to six times out of our 75 repsonses. We divided the responses into posi tive and negative based on the trends that we found. We determined that women and education were a positive reflection of Meredith, while lack of knowledge, stereotyping, and being referenced as an “all-girls’ school” were negative traits. The trends and examples supporting each category are presented here: Positive responses: 16% Women: Meredith was established as a women’s college in 1891. How ever, only 8% of data reflected some form of distinction from an all-girls’ school. — “It’s a good school. Empowers women, but it’s expensive.” -Judy, 55, teaching at a preschool — “Ladies’ school. NC State is very tough and Meredith is very quiet.” - Yon, 59, Cashier at Wolfmart Education: As mentioned earlier, only six people, 8%, referenced the quality of a Meredith education, even though the college’s first priority is to provide students with a challenging and rewarding educational experience. —“Great group of women with a won derful teaching program.” -Rachel, 30, teacher visiting a Wake County library — “Um, I’ve never visited before, but I’ve heard it’s the best college to go to for teaching. The people I know that go there really like it.” -Sarah, 16, student at YMCA — “Good liberal arts school for women in Raleigh for a long time.” -BT, 69, research tech at Crabtree Mall — “Teaching college.” -Joe, 41,1.T., Ridge Road Shopping Center Negative responses: 69% “All-Girls’ school:” 1/3 of the responses referred to Meredith in this way. Of those 25 people, over half of them couldn’t elaborate on those three words. — “High security girls’ camp where after ill have to give my license to the guard at the guard gate.” -Jeff, 20, pre law student at UNC, on Franklin Street — “I know it’s an all girls’ school, but that’s about it.” -Jessica, 23, Chili’s server — “All-girls’ school. I don’t know what they study.” -Xani, 22, server. Subway — “It’s an all-girls’ school. I went there for governor’s school, and I remember the cute atmosphere.” -Yasmeene, 21, NC State Student, server at Mitch’s Tavern Stereotypes: 21% of the responses included some form of stereotype that has come to be associated with Meredith. These include feminists, lesbians, members of the upper class, and other positions that conform to the traditional roles of women, such as being a good housewife. — “Don’t you all wear those rings?” -Emily, 27, apartment leasing consul tant — “Prudish.” -Stephen, 23, Technician writer, studying in Global Village — “It’s where snobby rich girls go to get their MRS degree.” -Chris, 19, NCSU student, waiting in line at Chi- potle — “A bunch of gung-ho girl power fe males.” -Brian, 24, teller at SunTrust Bank — “Sheltered and inexperienced.” - Matt, 35, bartender making sangria at Joel Lane’s — “Feminist girls that think they don’t need a man in their life.” -Branden, 24, forestry researcher, picking out movies in the $5 bin at Wal-Mart Clueless: 15% of the responses re flected little to no knowledge of Mer edith, despite the fact that U.S. News & World Report ranked Meredith third among colleges in the South just this year. — “Meredith’s a pretty good school, isn’t it?” -Mary, 34, associate director of a small association in Raleigh — “Is that a high school?” -Raj, 27, RTP employee, hanging out in Busy Bee — “Never heard of it.” -Gabriel, 28, shopping at Crabtree Mall — “From what I’ve heard it’s a small college. But where is it?” -Jordan, 19, NC State student, studying on 5th floor Poe Hall The other 15% of responses showed no particular trend or positive or nega tive affiliation. For more positive and negative responses and editor favor ites, see page 6. IN THIS ISSUE... State & Local: Obama’s Budget Proposal, Redistricting in NC, Possible Park Closings, What’s Up in Raleigh Arts & Entertainment: Style Stalker, Nicki Minaj at Grammys, Ask Gigi, Rebecca Rants on Hair Feathers Campus Life: Confessions of an Eating Disorder Survivor, Spring Break in Raleigh, Students Bring Dr. Suess to Life Opinion: Whines and Gripes, Responses to “Welcome to College”

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