Phi Beta Cons

Standing Up for What’s Right on Campus

I watched a group of brave, young students stand up for what’s right on the UCLA campus las Wednesday afternoon–and it was inspiring.

The Bruin Republicans have launched an effort  to help thwart a push by many faculty members there to create a new diversity requirement for graduation. 

Standing in a busy outdoor corridor, the group of 10 or so students handed out fliers declaring “say no to the diversity requirement” and chanting mantras such as “Let Us Choose” and “Foster diversity–don’t force divides.” 

It took courage to stand in the middle of their quad and argue against such a beloved catchword as “diversity.” But conservatism has long become the counter-culture movement on campus. 

The students said they consciously chose to push the argument that it’s their money, their tuition dollars, and their choice what classes to take. They acknowledged that the classes faculty are trying to force on students have radical bents–and that requiring students to take such courses is antithetical to the notion of fostering diversity. They brought up the fact the the proposed list of classes does not include anything that focuses on conservative thought. And they rightly brought up the fact that they are one of the most diverse groups on campus already. 

There was a fun energy surrounding the mini-protest at UCLA. These conservative students knew they were in the ones in the minority, they were the campus pariahs. And yet they stood strong.

“When you are on a college campus, you want to feel like you are making a difference,” Olivia McCoy, a 19-year-old UCLA sophomore, told me as she stood atop a concrete platform holding a big sign stating “#LetUsChoose.”

“We are taking traditional liberal tactics and using them for conservative beliefs.”

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