The Corner

Education

Surveying the Hostility Toward Conservatives on Campus

How widespread is the hostility experienced by conservative and libertarian groups on our campuses? The Martin Center’s Joe Warta, a recent graduate, wanted to find out, so he came up with a number of questions and put them to students around the country.

In today’s article, he writes about his findings.

First, hostility is not uniform. Warta himself encountered none at Wake Tech as the head of Young Americans for Liberty. He writes, “No protesters tried to shut down any of our events. Faculty were nothing but pleasant—my interactions with them consisted of friendly conversations. Professors invited me to join their clubs. One even gave me books he thought I would find interesting.”

That’s not surprising to me. In general, community colleges and other non-selective schools tend to have low levels of ideological zealotry. You’re more likely to encounter such zealotry in prestige schools, which seem to attract social justice warrior types, among students, faculty, and administrators.

Warta also found that Turning Point USA groups run into the greatest hostility, while College Republicans and YAL run into somewhat less. “TPUSA members” he writes, “tend to be more politically aggressive and confrontational. They show their support for President Trump openly in an environment generally opposed to him.”

Another point that stands out is the frequent difficulty these groups had in forming. School administrators were sometimes overtly hostile and when they weren’t, their processes were needlessly burdensome.

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

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