Phi Beta Cons


College Students Take Stand Against Indoctrination

“Only in an atmosphere of debate can we learn to learn and not learn to conform.”

That’s one line in a petition launched this month by students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst who are frustrated by the lack of ideological diversity on their campus. Claims in the “Petition for Diversity of Thought” also accuse left-liberal professors there of actively stifling debate.

“Professors often preach their anti-American judgments to students as final ‘truths’ – such as the view that all major world problems, from poverty in Africa to ISIS, stem from American capitalism and imperialism. Professors represent their views and ideologies in ways that make it seemingly impossible for any reasonable person to disagree with,” the petition states. “Dissenters from left-liberal thought on campus are considered ignorant, intolerant, and uneducated.”

Owen Wiggins, a UMass student who helped write the petition, said the pressure to agree with professors is very real.

“[T]here are students on our campus who feel pressured by professors to express liberal views in their academic work,” he told The College Fix. “These students are unsure of where they are supposed to express their dissatisfaction. I doubt there are any students on our campus who feel pressured to adopt conservative views in their courses.” 

The petition calls for a wider spectrum of courses that will expose students to a diverse range of intellectual achievements and schools of thought, and asks administrators to “encourage faculty to not indoctrinate students by teaching only one-sided intellectual ideology.”

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