Liberal College Campuses

Last night Charleton Heston spoke at my school, American University, in Washington, DC. I consider myself a conservative; I shoot and hunt and generally support the NRA and am willing to engage in discussion or even debate on the issue of gun control.

A lot of people protested Heston last night. I am all for the First Amendment as well as the Second, but there’s a line between protesting/voicing your opinion and being obnoxious. Wearing stickers or signs is fine. Screaming and blasting air horns in front of TV cameras is not conducive to a rational exchange of ideas, it’s just plain being an asshole.

The protesting group handed out flyers that day with the headline “NRA SUCKS” and proceeded to label the organization as “racist, sexist, and homophobic,” with nothing substantial to back it up. To my mind this indicates that the authors of this whole thing have not put the thought into this that they should have, and would rather make noise than advance their cause. I mean, how seriously can you be taken when your chief slogan is as childish as “NRA NOT”??

You know, I almost went to school in Boston, and one of the reasons I didn’t was because I thought I would be frustrated with the politics there. I figured DC would be a more even mix. Well last night, about a third of the crowd at the speech was sympathetic to Heston, and I think those were all the conservatives on campus. From what I hear this is the trend at campuses across the country.

So here’s my question: Are there any conservative colleges around? And does anyone else support my opinions here (not on gun control, but on protesting)?

I wanted to post this in Great Debates, but wasn’t quite sure if it qualified.

I agree, i think you lose credibility if you make blatent remarks without backing them up. those aren’t even real accusations, just name calling. Unfortunately at some colleges, well an example will work better.

Susie is a freshman. Sunshine lives across the hall and is really cool, and Sunshine doesn’t like charlton heston because her art history film made her watch spartcus which led to missing a date with Tim the Journalism major she’s diggin on. So Sunshine protest and Susie does too so she’ll get invited to the next mixer.

The only way to rid yourself of temptation is to yield to it–Oscar Wilde

Cute example, metro. Kind of an update on the sort of jokes the Al Capp and Art Buchwald types were making, oh, back around 1968, huh?

keyspawn’s got a point, though, and I hope all the politically active college students on the SDMB are listening. It’s not terribly difficult to find examples of racism, homophobia, and sexism (and worse) among the oppressor classes. So when you make up those flyers, make sure to back up your claims. That way Rollo van Fenwick the Third can’t turn his nose up and claim you don’t know what you’re talking about.

To address the question in the OP: Wake Forest, in North Carolina, comes to mind. Dartmouth (although perhaps only in comparison to the rest of the Ivy League). And of course those places run by the evangelical nutcases like Roberts, Falwell, Robertson. Take your pick.


Conservative colleges:

Notre Dame, SMU and most other religous colleges
Purdue, Illinois
Arizona State
Most southern colleges
Military academies
A lot of the rural, colleges where Agriculture is prominent: Iowa State, Texas A &M, Kansas State,…
A lot of the Tech colleges: Virginia Tech, Cal Tech, Georgia Tech…

Most of the colleges that have a good football team. See the top 25 rankings at

In general, my college (Texas Tech) is pretty conservative. Hell, it’s a dry town; you have to drive outside the county line to buy package liquor. If anyone knows of another town the size of Lubbock that disallows package liquor sales in the city, I’d like to hear of it.

Surprisingly, though, there wasn’t much ruckus raised when, a couple months ago, the student production of “Hair” opted to do the nude scene.

Actually Georgetown was very much on the liberal side.

Of course there’s the whole Catholic university vs. Jesuit university thing… but that’s a whole other thread :slight_smile:

Back off, man. I’m a scientist.

Sorry, cg, Yale is NOT a conservative campus. (Not compared to Dartmouth, anyway, home of the infamous Dartmouth Review.)

Yale was the U.S. cradle of Deconstructionist literary criticism, remember? That Bete Noire of Allan Bloom’s? The font of all that’s evil in current academia?

Jacques Derrida, Geoffrey Hartman, Paul DeMan, Harold Bloom, J. Hillis Miller…the Hermaneutic Mafia!


A general impression, backed up by no particular examples:

In states where there is a University of X and an X State University, X State will tend to be more conservative than U of X. This does not necessarily imply that XSU will actually be “conservative” or that UX will actually be “liberal”, it’s just an indication of their positions relative to each other.

And just HOW much contact did these people have with your typical undergraduate?

“The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us.”

  • Bill Watterson

Perdue a conservative school? They just hired Peter Singer to head up their Center for Human Ethics. Singer advocates parental rights to kill newborn babies, especially disabled ones.

PLEASE< PLEASWE EXCISE THE LAST POST. Damn my hyde it wasn’t Perdue!!

I’m a total stupid jerk and I apologise.

I have always had the impression that Hillsdale in southern Michigan was rather conservative. I know that it is fairly independent. It refuses all Federal grants so that it can operate without being bound by any Federal regs (although I have never heard of it actually violating the spirit of any Fedral regs).


quote: “That way Rollo van Fenwick the Third can’t turn his nose up”

Am I being represented here by Mr. van Fenwick? I did not intend to make an impression of “turning my nose up” in the slightest. I’m not an elitist, I simply believe that public expression should be above name-calling if the speaker wants to be taken seriously.

Well, I have had the option to compare colleges.

At the end of the day, most colleges are liberal and have a liberalizing effect on people. There are exceptions to this trend, but I haven’t seen too many. An overwhelming majority of people at an overwhelming majority of colleges are liberal.

My conservative friends like to show me off as one of the only libertarians on campus.

In the recent mayoral elections here, my choices were:

  1. democrat
  2. green party
  3. independent

I had my pick of liberals :þ

Draft me and I’ll AWOL. Imprison me and I’ll run. Shoot me and I won’t die, just to annoy you.

It’s sad that the demonstators chose to do their thing in a way that damaged their credibility… but I have to say I agree with their position. Also, no offense to the OP, but I can’t respect anyone who hunts.

O p a l C a t

I’m an unrepentant leftie and I agree completely with the OP about shouting down people whose viewpoints you oppose. It’s one of the things I’ve always found disgraceful about the left. Use your voice to counterargue, or shut up.

What about Bob Jones University? Is that place still around?

PLEASE< PLEASWE EXCISE THE LAST POST. Damn my hyde it wasn’t Perdue!!

Which one was it, then?

When did the chicken guy start a university?

By the way, the relativity example of U of X, vs. XSU, isn’t very useful. Its as useful as saying the south side of town is always worse than the north. Its just not a great enough majority to make any generalzations. One example where the state college is more liberal than the U of. Penn State is much more liberal the University of Pennsylvania. University of Illinois is somewhat more conservative than ISU.

To the OP. It depends on your criteria for comparison. Colleges as a whole are virtually always more liberal than society. Just as youths are almost always more liberal than old people. The age factor has as much to do with it as the “college” attitude. So there are colleges that are conservative compared other schools, and even conservative compared to most 18-23 year olds, but very few if any that are conservative compared to society as a whole.

Grinnell college, my alma mater, was/is a hotbed of liberal activism. We also have a conservative group and, when I left, a conservative newspaper called the “Outcry”.

And it was Princeton that hired Dr. Peter Singer.


F Porcupine:

I can’t speak for the pre-med or pre-law undergrads, or the engineers, but I was involved in discussion groups (classes involving 10-15 students) led by Miller and Bloom, and lecture courses by Hartman, Derrida, and de Man. Umberto Eco, too.

I had no complaints about professor accessibility. While I can’t speak for them, I hope folks with other majors had similar access to big names in their departments.