By Matt McHugh
Have you ever wondered what Denison students define as binge drinking? Have you wondered if a students major influences his or her level of political engagement? Have you ever wondered what personality traits define the most successful students?
The role of One Twenty Seven blog is to answer questions such as these, questions that may not be crucial to our curricular education, but still very interesting nonetheless. Dr. Paul Djupe, 47, an associate professor in the Political Science Department at Denison University, a liberal arts school of 2,300 students 35 miles east of Columbus, Ohio, founded One Twenty Seven blog in the fall of 2016 with a small group of committed students.
One Twenty Seven is a name inspired by the number of credit hours required to graduate. The group uses data provided by Denison students to learn more about the Denison student population.
After years at Denison, Djupe recognized that there were “ a lot of uncertainties and misperceptions about what was going on on campus.” There were details about the student body that students were curious about, but had no way to answer. For example, one of the misperceptions of faculty members was how many students consumed alcohol and how much they consumed. Dr. Djupe wanted to give reliable answers to these questions and he wanted to share the results with the public.
Djupe was hired by Denison to teach research methods in the Political Science Department. “From the very beginning we started doing some survey work of Denison students.” He said, sometimes, their research findings would be published in the Denisonian. However, they did not have a reliable platform to publish their latest research.
Djupe recognized the amount of data available within the student population and he saw it as an opportunity to report the various opinions of Denison students.
Moreover, he realized the growing impact of online journalism in our society. “If this is going to be the new model of how we are doing journalism and how we can demonstrate public impact, this is something we need to give students the ability to practice,” Djupe said.
Since the founding of One Twenty Seven, Dr. Djupe and his motivated array of students have published a total of 82 articles on their blog. Averaging around 16.5 articles per semester, One Twenty Seven has covered an array of topics about the Denison student body ranging from party culture to Weinbergisms, the study of President Weinberg’s most commonly written words and phrases.
An article written Dr. Paul Djupe discussing whether certain personality types are indicators of academic success
One Twenty Seven has only published through their blog. This is primarily because it gives them more freedom with formatting and content. For example, One Twenty Seven often utilizes graphs to represent data. Printing an array of graphs in a conventional newspaper such as the Denisonian would be challenging. With the blog, authors can write without limitations.
Since the creation of One Twenty Seven, almost two and a half years ago, it seems that the blog has been considered nothing short of a success, and the student authors seem to agree.
Jeffrey Alder, 20, a junior double majoring in political science and German, from Akron, Ohio, has enjoyed his time as an author for One Twenty Seven and stands behind the common goal of informing students. In an article he wrote in the spring of 2018, Alder researched how Denison students constitute binge drinking.
Among the results, Alder was able to deduce some very interesting observations. “I found out that people that are social science majors drink more than people who are STEM majors,” said Alder. He also discovered that varsity athletes and members of Greek organizations define binge drinking by more drinks than the rest of the schools student population.
Jeffery Alder’s article discussing what students constitute as binge drinking
As Djupe noted earlier, there are other news publications on campus, but none of them seems to regularly partake in data research. As Alder recognized, “when you read the bullsheet and the Denisonian, it’s all about Denison, but there are no numbers.” One Twenty Seven provides a way “to read the numbers of our campus,” says Alder.
Taylor Shook, 20, a junior majoring in political science with a concentration in narrative journalism, from Hilliard, Ohio, has been another key student author for One Twenty Seven over the past year. Similar to Alder, she has conducted much of her research on binge drinking, a topic that One Twenty Seven is intrigued by.
“I was really interested in binge drinking behavior…and how that intersected with race and how that affiliated with Greek life and whether or not you were in Greek life,” said Shook. Shook researched how student perception of binge drinking on campus is influenced by someone’s race and affiliations.
Taylor Shook’s article discussing race, affiliations, and binge drinking
Not only have student authors enjoyed their work with One Twenty Seven, but they also say they are gaining real world experience due to the research they’ve done. Above all else, they are being taught technical skills that can be applied to future jobs and internships.
Some of these technical skills are coding, researching, and communication. “Learning how to code and make graphs out of that I think is a pretty amazing skill to have,” said Alder. “As I apply for internships and jobs…you have to be able to manipulate data,” said Shook, and the skills she acquired through her work with One Twenty Seven have allowed her to do that.
As you can see, although One Twenty Seven was born in the Political Science Department, and some of its articles involve politics, One Twenty Seven is so much more than that. They write about a variety of topics and encourage involvement from students of all academic disciplines.
In fact, students that major in something other than political science are equally encouraged to join the group. According to the One Twenty Seven blog, “An ideal candidate is a strong writer (or wants to develop into one); proficient in quantitative analysis; and has interest in any aspect of Denison, campus issues, and our student body.”
Most importantly, you need to be interested in what you’re researching, said Djupe. “Anyone who is curious about social science would have a place,” in One Twenty Seven, said Shook.
Although One Twenty Seven has produced numerous articles covering various topics, they hope to continue to uncover more interesting statistics about the student population. For example, Alder wants to study the correlation between video games user and binge drinking. “I want to see how Fortnite (a popular video game) compares to binge drinking,” said Alder. He also wants to research how sexual respect correlates with demographics on campus.
It seems that readers of One Twenty Seven want to know more about the student and possibly alumni population as well. They want One Twenty Seven to expand their horizon. John Spencer, 19, a sophomore double majoring in economics and physics, from Springfield, Ohio, is curious about studying productivity within the student body. “I want to know how productive with schoolwork students are in various spaces around campus,” said Spencer. Building on that, Trent Schulten, 21, a junior majoring in Global Commerce, from Louisville, Kentucky, said, “It would be even more interesting to see if that varied between athletes and non-athletes.”
Even alumni, such as Kirsten Audette, 23, class of 2018, from Buffalo, New York, and an avid reader of One Twenty Seven, wants to know more about Denison students and possibly alumni. “It would be really interesting to see how opinions on various topics differ between current students and alumni,” said Audette.
When asking Djupe about potentially extending publications and research results to outside sources, such as the Granville Sentinel, he was not adverse to the idea.
Regardless of what direction One Twenty Seven takes in the future, with the amazing array of student authors and the leadership of Dr. Djupe, the group will surely uncover more interesting information about our student body in the years to come.
For access to the One Twenty Seven blog, go to: https://onetwentyseven.blog
For questions about this article contact Matt McHugh at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For questions or comments regarding One Twenty Seven contact Dr. Paul Djupe at: email@example.com