The Vermont Cynic’s Lifestyle Survey

We polled 180 UVM undergrads from every possible area of the UVM community. We asked 35 questions under six categories. The categories ranged from food to sexual activity to academics. The questions were designed to bring in information that would not normally be advertised in any UVM literature. Our results may not represent the entire 7,900 undergraduate students at UVM, statistically it is the best cross section of the students at UVM.

The average UVM student.

What does that mean? Who is the average UVM student? Do they have tightly woven dreadlocks with homemade patch-work corduroy pants, or do they wear expensive designer clothing with their hair neatly manicured? Does the average UVM student stay in on a Thursday night reading a history of psychology book or do they scour East Campus for a hint of a room party? Who are these 7,900 people that make up the University of Vermont? Why are they here, and why are they staying?

The Vermont Cynic realizes that this is the eternal question for many UVM outsiders, and even insiders: Who is a UVM student?

That is where the Vermont Cynic Lifestyle survey comes into play. The Cynic realizes that saying, It’s what’s inside that counts sounds rather corny and a bit cliché. But we also realize that it is easy to walk into the library and see so many different people that look like they fit into so many diverse categories. But behind all these appearances is what professors look to challenge on a day-to-day basis, employers hire, and people fall in love with.

The Cynic took the many Lifestyle responses and carefully studied and dissected each and every one of them. We surveyed freshman to seniors of all ages and types. We surveyed business, art, psychology, and English majors. Greek and non-Greek.

We found that UVM students exercise seven days a week or not at all, have eight sexual partners per semester or remain abstinent, don’t ever drink or would drink on the eighth day of the week if there were one, and even admit to thinking that Gary Cherone is the best lead singer for Van Halen.

Without further delay: The results of The Vermont Cynic Lifestyle Survey.

Eating on campus after a while can become repetitive and tedious at times.

To some people the mass produced food just doesn’t appeal to them seven days a week for three meals day while some can’t even stomach one meal. For others who live off campus, anything that is made in the kitchen never stacks up to anything Mom ever made and she isn’t even here to do your dishes. That’s why 60% of UVM goes out to eat or gets take out two to three times a week and spends $31 to $40 on average each week.

Overall, on a scale of one to seven (seven being extremely satisfied), there is a level of satisfaction with all UVM dining of just over three, which equates to ‘less than somewhat satisfied’. If given the choice, 62% would either lower the prices or provide more variety of options. This variety could mean healthier food or different brands of food offered altogether.

A few respondents also expressed the desire to allow guests to use block meals instead of having the guest’s meal deducted from points. Another faithful fowl fan preferred continuity over variety by serving chicken patties every day of the week.

We found that on average, UVM students skip 1.06 classes each week while spending 4.86 hours on homework.

The overall satisfaction with the variety of classes that UVM offers is ‘fairly satisfactory’ but there were some interesting suggestions.

Numerous respondents suggested more journalism and communications, and easier access to art classes for non-art majors. Others wanted more languages such as Arabic. Some expressed the desire for a marine biology major. Then there were some who think way outside the box and suggested an hunting class, underwater basket weaving, and a class on Bob Dylan.

83% of those surveyed always buy the required texts for their classes. There is also a 5.13 out of seven level of satisfaction with the professors at UVM.

College is a time for socializing, meeting new people and trying new things. This fact is undeniable. This is why the social scene at UVM is somewhat of a legend.

The events of 4/20 have received national media attention and the tag of “party school” that UVM may have picked up in the mid-90’s, is trying to be shaken quickly by the current administration.

UVM students drink 2.2 days a week and 55% consume 3-6 drinks per night. Nearly 45% of the respondents say they “sometimes” skip homework to drink or go to a party. 57% admit to having done hard drugs such as cocaine, heroin or ecstasy at one time or another.

While marijuana appears to be the most prevalent drug on campus, with the evidence in the fact that there is an unofficial holiday in a week where students gather outside and smoke marijuana in public. However, 41% say they never smoke marijuana and 11.5% say they smoke it once a month or less.

When asked if the UVM student population had a drug problem, 57.7% said “No”. When asked to justify their “No” answer, some said they don’t feel as if there is any pressure from anyone to try drugs. Numerous respondents said that they feel UVM’s drug issues are no worse than any other school’s, therefore UVM does not have a drug problem.

This sort of mentality concerns UVM Police Chief, Gary Margolis.

“That is a ridiculous argument, the perception that it is no worse than any where else,” said Margolis. “If a problem exists elsewhere as well as here, that doesn’t mean it is not a problem…

“Developing a drug and drinking problem in college is a very dangerous thing. It can affect you beyond college and into your life with your job, wife, and kids.” One anonymous student said, “People have just become desensitized to drug use. They see it from day one when they get here and it usually doesn’t get better from there, so they are just used to it after a while. Drugs have become normal to them so they don’t consider it a problem.”

42.3% feel that there is a drug problem at UVM. Some who answered “Yes” feel that “most students come to class unprepared and ‘out of it’.

Others looked to the root of the problem and feel as if there is too much money available to be spent on drugs that are altogether too easy to get a hold of in the first place.

Health experts say that for your mind and body to completely recover from the previous day’s activities, one must sleep eight hours each night. Our respondents get an average of 7.3 hours of sleep each night but 43% say they are often tired.

Similarly, 82% say they are sometimes or often stressed and 8% say they are always stressed. Deb Renshaw, Senior Counselor at the Counseling Center, suggests that finding balance in your life is the answer to both fatigue and stress.

“One preventative measure is to find balance,” says Renshaw. “Balance between the social, academic, professional aspects of life and learning how to say no. Not just to drugs or alcohol but to taking on too many things at once. Following through with things in a timely manner, asking for help or assistance and studying with a partner during finals can make all the difference in the world.”

Deb also suggested exercise as an excellent outlet to relieve stress by. When stressed, 43% of UVM students exercise or do yoga.

“Exercising releases positive endorphins which are feel good chemicals. By exercising, you can eliminate toxic chemicals such as adrenaline which creates a lot of stress.”

Sexually, the UVM campus is not as active as one may think after spending a year in a dorm.

Just over 50% of UVM students are sexually active one or less times a week and do it with two people per campus. 9.1% is sexually active more than six times per week . Overall, 52.7% always practices safe sex.

When it comes to sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS, and pregnancy, UVM is not overly concerned with any of things despite the 47.3% of UVMers who don’t practice safe sex. On a scale of one to seven (seven being extremely concerned, one being not at all concerned), respondents were worried at a level of 2.3 of becoming a parent while at UVM, 2.6 of contracting AIDS, and 3.2 of contracting an STD.

On the survey itself, instead of circling the “1” which would have been the numerical equivalent of being the least concerned about contracting STDs, AIDS, or becoming a parent, some went as far as to circle the “Not at all” concerned for all three questions.


Among our more interesting findings were:-57% of UVM students believe there is no drug problem at UVM-45% of UVM students sometimes skip homework to party-42% of UVM students have done hard drugs-41% of UVM students never smoke pot-UVM students average six alcoholic drinks when they drink-60% of UVM students eat out 2-3 time per week-46% of UVM students have one sexual partner per semester-44% of UVM students don’t always have safe sex-33% of UVM students often feel stressed-45% of UVM students are often tired