The Corner

Education

Conservative Campus Activists Speak about the Conditions They Face

A week ago, the Martin Center published an essay by Joe Warta on the survey he did of conservative and libertarian activists on college campuses. Today we publish a follow-up essay by Joe in which he relates some of the comments he received from students.

Based on those comments, it seems that school officials are something of a problem — not usually hostile, but not helpful either — and the main characteristic of the students is apathy. Sometimes conservatives encounter fuming outrage from leftists, but more often they are ignored. As a Clemson student said, “The student body’s apathy is our biggest problem. Clemson has one of the most right-wing student bodies in the country, but they don’t engage. The left-wing students obviously are more vocal and more militant, so getting a right-wing message to the largely apathetic silent majority has been our struggle.”

Widespread student indifference to political activism might be interpreted optimistically; maybe most are focused more on their coursework (and campus fun) than on political movements of any kind. On the other hand, it might indicate general acceptance of the big-government status quo. In either case, conservative activists have a difficult task in alerting their fellow students to the damage that our federal leviathan is doing to our freedom and prosperity.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

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