Different colors, same politics
College students praise the racial and ethnic diversity on their campuses, though they say that programs for minority students sometimes foster self-segregation. But they told the Philadelphia Inquirer that there’s little political diversity.
“There’s definitely a liberal bias. Conservative opinions are shut down and dismissed offhand,” said John Anderson, a Swarthmore senior. “When a conservative point of view is brought up, there’s a knee-jerk reaction that it can’t be valid.”
Students suggest that the overwhelming liberalism fosters a self-censorship among conservatives who are unwilling to speak up in class or in social settings to provide the conservative view on issues.
“Haverford might look diverse, but everyone thinks the same,” said Jennie Gibson, a sophomore who doesn’t like to mention her conservative positions on campus. “I like debate, but there’s a difference between that and having people call you stupid when you say you support President Bush.”
Students also say there’s not much economic diversity. And they have mixed feelings about racial preferences in admissions.
Update: According to a Marist survey, Americans like diversity on campus, but don’t like racial preferences in admissions: 80 percent of Americans, including 64 percent of minorities, oppose race-conscious policies. Most support an admissions break for low-income students, and oppose favored treatment for children of wealthy parents or alumni.