Tag Archives: Claremont Colleges

Who’s the Fairest of Them All?

Ward Elliott
CMC Professor Emeritus Ward Elliott. Image Courtesy Ward Elliott.

With midterm elections just around the corner and a heated battle between Democrats and Republicans over control of the Senate, it becomes imperative to ask the daunting question, “What will you do on November 4?” Instead of having to go around and take a poll, Professor Ward Elliott’s study entitled, “Political Attitudes at the Claremont Colleges,” takes a deeper look into the political trends on the 5Cs throughout the last 40 years. His findings not only give us some insight into party preference, but also dispel some deeply ingrained rumors about CMC culture.

From students to faculty, many would make the argument that CMC is a conservative utopia that looks down on the rest of the 5Cs. However, let’s put aside all the Yik Yak comments and examine the legitimacy behind these claims.

Students

Professor Elliott’s study spends a lot of time on students of the 5Cs in order to get a clear picture on their beliefs and establish a consistent trend.

Rep-Dem preference at CMC
CMC Student Political Preference, 1972-2012

As Figure 1 (above) from the study demonstrates, since the mid 1990s, CMC has seen a huge turnover in political preference with a 45 percent liberal to 17 percent conservative affiliation in the year 2012. Professor Elliott makes the observation that, “Apart from the 1980s, liberal students have outnumbered conservative by more than two to one.” These findings indicate this growing political direction CMC is taking as more and more students identify as liberals. Professor Elliott takes a step further by focusing in on the increase in liberal views on the CMC campus in relation to the other campuses, pointing out that, “% Change (from conservative to liberal) during 1988-2012 was +35%.” If we were to compare that to the percent change from the other 4 campuses, +16% (HMC), +13% (PO), +16%(SCR), and +19%(PI), that’s more than double the amount of any other campus during the same period!

Faculty

The faculty are no exception to the trend that Elliott spotted among 5C students.

5C Faculty Party Breakdown
5C Faculty Republican population, broken down by school

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 4.24.56 PMOnly 16 registered Republicans were found from the entire 532 5C core (permanent) faculty, with only one female among them. In other words, only 6.0% of all 5C faculty members are registered as Republicans. Professor Elliott does point out that “only half of the 5C core faculty were found, so the most likely estimates are twice the numbers found: 14.8% for HMC, 13.0% for CMC, Zero for Pomona, Pitzer, and Scripps, and 6.0% for all the 5C’s.” Although CMC may have a higher percentage of Republican faculty members than the other 5Cs, the number is still significantly lower with a “2.2:1 ratio” of Democrat to Republican. Moreover as Professor Elliott explains, “Claremont’s percentages are not out of line with those of other elite institutions, which are generally thought to be more lopsidedly/purely liberal than less elite campuses.” This is an important fact as outsiders look to CMC and some of the 5Cs as the Ivy League of the West Coast and in many cases, make comparisons between different aspects of each institution. It seems like these thoughts about CMC are not an accurate depiction of the political culture on campus.

Implications

This study raises the question about which campus truly is more tolerant and open-minded when it comes to political views. Contrary to popular belief of campuses like Pitzer and Pomona being tolerant and CMC being the least, based on this study, it seems as though the opposite is true.

Courtesy Ward Elliott
Courtesy Ward Elliott

Figure 2 (above) shows the Student Presidential Preference, 2-Party, from 1972-2012 of CMC, Pomona, and Pitzer. Professor Elliot explains that, “ Since 1972, 65%-98% of Pomona and Pitzer students have favored the Democratic ticket in Presidential elections, 24-52 points more than the general public, and 16-52 points higher than CMC students.” Even though we are only taking a look at one specific factor, presidential elections, these numbers do highlight an important point about the political diversity we see on the campuses. With CMC gaining more liberal students while maintaining a presence of conservative-minded students, an argument can be made about an, if not rich, at least identifiable contrast in political preferences on campus. On the other hand, with such a strong left-leaning population, upward to 98% for students, on campuses like Pomona and Pitzer, and a faculty with no registered Republicans, the notion of political diversity is completely out of the question.

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 4.30.24 PMI was able to attend CMC Professor Jack Pitney’s Athenaeum talk entitled “What’s at Stake in these 2014 Mid-Term Elections,” where he talked about the Democrats’ and Republicans’ chances of victory in Congress. By the end of the speech, Professor Pitney concluded that a victory for the Republicans in both the House and the Senate was likely. However he was careful to point out that these elections still “could go either way.” Unfortunately, the likelihood of students in Pomona and Pitzer voting “either way” is as likely as George Will setting foot on Scripps’ campus. Although Professor Elliott’s study demonstrated how CMC’s political demographics are not nearly as one-sided as its neighbors, that’s really not saying much.

George Will Uninvited from Scripps College

A prominent conservative political pundit was uninvited from speaking at Scripps College, in a program designed to promote conservative views on campus, because of his conservative views.

Nationally syndicated columnist George Will was slated to speak at the ninth annual Elizabeth Hubert Malott Public Affairs Program, the mission of which is to bring speakers to campus whose political views differ from the majority of students at the all-women’s college, but had his invitation rescinded after he wrote a column about sexual assault on college campuses.

“It was in the works and then it wasn’t in the works,” Will said in an interview with the Independent. “They didn’t say that the column was the reason, but it was the reason.”

Will also told the Independent that Christopher DeMuth, former president of the American Enterprise Institute, one of the most influential conservative think tanks in the country, resigned from his position on the program’s speaker selection committee over the decision to revoke the invitation.

The Elizabeth Hubert Malott Public Affairs Program was established under the belief that “a range of opinions about the world – especially opinions with which we may not agree, or think we do not agree – leads to a better educational experience,” according to the Scripps College website.

It has not been announced who will be selected to replace Will at this year’s series. Previous speakers invited to campus by the program include conservative columnists Charles Krauthammer and Peggy Noonan.

News of the cancellation comes shortly after the release of a recurring study by Claremont McKenna College Professor Emeritus Ward Elliott that aims to measure political attitudes at the Claremont Colleges. In the most recent update of the report, Elliott could not find any Scripps faculty members who are registered Republicans.

“Among the 532 [Claremont Colleges] core faculty only 15 Republicans could be found in the registries,” Elliott said in an email to the Independent. “Pomona, Pitzer, and Scripps have a very few registered third-party core faculty, but no Republicans at all found.”

Libby Ramsey SC ‘17 said that the cancellation underscores the lack of political diversity at Scripps.

“There is minimal political diversity at Scripps,” Ramsey said in an email to the Independent. “Not only this, but the minority who have different viewpoints feel uncomfortable sharing their opinions, and there is a culture of exclusion and a lack of acceptance. If Scripps claims to want ‘to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently,’ as our founder explained, it should not keep contributing to a culture of exclusion and silence.”

Will’s June 6 column centered on the issue of sexual assault on college campuses, particularly regarding the federal government’s recent intervention into how colleges should respond to such incidents.

“[Colleges and universities] are learning that when they say campus victimizations are ubiquitous (‘micro-aggressions,’ often not discernible to the untutored eye, are everywhere), and that when they make victimhood a coveted status that confers privileges, victims proliferate,” Will wrote in the column. “And academia’s progressivism has rendered it intellectually defenseless now that progressivism’s achievement, the regulatory state, has decided it is academia’s turn to be broken to government’s saddle.”

Progressive groups were quick to condemn the column, and at least one newspaper, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, responded by dropping Will’s twice-weekly column from their op-ed page.

Four Democratic members of the U.S. Senate signed a June 12 letter denouncing Will’s column, writing that his “notion about a perceived privileged status of survivors of sexual assault on campuses runs completely counter to the experiences described to us.”

Will responded to the U.S. Senate in a June 13 letter, writing, “I think I take sexual assault much more seriously than you. Which is why I worry about definitions of that category of that crime that might, by their breadth, tend to trivialize it. And why I think sexual assault is a felony that should be dealt with by the criminal justice system, and not be adjudicated by improvised campus processes.”

A representative from Scripps could not be reached for comment before press time. The Independent will update this article as their comment becomes available.

Update: Scripps Defends George Will Disinvitation

Image Source: Flickr/Gage Skidmore

Featured Organization: The 5C Mental Health Alliance

The 5C Mental Health Alliance (MHA) is a student-led organization that seeks to erase the stigma around mental illness at the Claremont Colleges. MHA’s primary mission this year is to promote student dialogue regarding mental illness throughout the 5Cs by facilitating panel discussions, inviting speakers, writing publications, and providing a safe space for students with mental health concerns.

This fall, events have included a “Therapy Myth-busters” panel discussion, which unraveled common misconceptions regarding the practice of therapy, and an “Exploring Mental Illness” screening, which educated students on different types of mental illnesses. MHA has also organized a student panel called “Students Speak!” where students from the 5C’s shared their personal experiences dealing with mental health issues in an effort to “humanize” mental health cases.

Along with encouraging healthy student discourse, MHA pursued additional resources for students in need of mental health services at the 5Cs.

“Part of what prompted me to broaden the mission to increase resources for treating mental illnesses on campus is because, at many of our meetings in the past, we have gotten complaints from people saying Monsour, in many cases, was overbooked or provided inadequate treatment.” MHA President Colin Belanger PO ’14 said.

Belanger said that MHA seeks to find as many ways as possible to meet the needs of students in distress by helping them find the right kind of support they need.

Expectations are high for students at the Claremont Colleges, and feeling stressed out and even overwhelmed is par for the course. Students can change how we deal with these expectations, however, by supporting an environment that fosters a healthy student population. By decreasing the stigma associated with mental illness and by increasing access to different treatments and services, 5C students can make a significant impact in how mental health concerns are viewed and addressed in our community.

“This [issue] concerns a lot of students on campus – I’d really like to see that change,” Belanger said.

The 5C Mental Health Alliance meets every Thursday at 7:00 P.M. in Smith Campus Center’s Room 212 at Pomona College. Find out more about MHA on their website and Facebook page. Inquiries can be sent to mhalliance5c@gmail.com

Learning to Embrace Vulnerability

Watching a loved one struggle with a deteriorating mental health is a unique sort of pain. In my experience, it is akin to watching someone slowly tear themselves apart and being helpless to do anything to stop it.

This pain came to me in the form of an older sister with Bipolar Disorder.

The transition from the carefree halls of grade school to the cruel world of high school lived up to its reputation. Seemingly overnight, my sister’s eccentric and quirky personality became mania. Her occasional mood swings morphed into an emotional state that lived solely on the extremities, and her rebellious streak turned into a revolution.

Twelve-year-old me didn’t know what to do, and I’m not sure that the 21-year-old version would be much better equipped. That feeling of helplessness eventually led to anxiety and paranoia. Any time I heard muffled conversations and rushed footsteps outside my door at night, I assumed the worst. Years of suspense took their mental toll, and it became easier to stop caring after a while.

Thankfully, my sister recovered. As any loving parents would, my mom and dad bent over backward to get her the treatment she needed. The transition from high school to college was far less dramatic, and, last summer, my sister graduated from college with distinction. The quirky girl with the rebellious streak has been found again, and I couldn’t be more proud of her.

However, after the worst was over, I still had difficulty coping with what I had witnessed. At first, I bottled it all up. Things were getting better, and the sooner I could move on, forget about it, and pretended that it never happened, the better. But the memories lingered vividly, and I had the constant urge to share my experience.

I thought that announcing everything to the world would get this weight off my chest, so I began to tell anyone who would listen: schoolmates, teachers, and random people over the Internet. But that only made the weight heavier. Suddenly, I felt defined by the very thing from which I was trying to escape. At least in my mind, I became that guy with the crazy sister to everyone outside of my family and immediate friend group, and the memories followed me around and suffocated me more than ever. I felt like I had “prostituted” myself á la Holden Caulfield, who warned: “Don’t ever tell anybody anything.”

I struggled with the idea of talking about this period of my life for a long time after that. Could anyone really relate with what I had seen? Did I only want to share my experience for the sake of garnering sympathy and in order to sound tortured? Would I regret making myself vulnerable after the fact?

Recently, I’ve been surrounded by a group of friends who embrace vulnerability. Our M.O. has been to sit back, watch bad movies, and vent with one another about whatever we happen to be going through. Nothing is taboo or off-limits.

By sharing with me some of the most intimate details of their lives and personal struggles, they’ve slowly peeled away at mine. By creating a safe and trusting environment for me to spill my thoughts – and then asking penetrating questions about those thoughts – they’ve teased out details about who I am that were previously foreign to me. They’ve caused me to examine critically the assumptions that I held about myself.

Before I allowed myself to become vulnerable within a constructive and safe environment, I feel as though, in the words of Elizabeth Bennet, “I never knew myself.”

Just as important, I’ve learned through these discussions that mental health is an issue with which a lot of people can relate. My story is just one of many that go largely unnoticed, and it is not abnormal. Nearly everyone has a story about mental health to tell – whether it is their personal struggle, or how they’ve coped with their best friend’s or their older sister’s. But in order to talk about it and, in my experience, in order to learn and to heal, first you need to be OK with being vulnerable.

Claremont College Students Furloughed in Washington

By Ambika Bist and Nadeem Farooqi

The government shutdown surprisingly felt a lot like New Year’s Eve here in the nation’s capital. No, nobody was popping champagne bottles or blowing noisemakers, but there was something exciting about counting down the seconds until the historic moment that the government officially shut down. “Shutdown’s Eve,” however, was also a disheartening experience for many, including several fellow Claremont College students on the Washington Program who were not deemed “essential” and are now furloughed.

Sierra Gibson CMC ’15, a furloughed intern at the White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaskan Native Education in the Department of Education, says the shutdown could completely change the focus of her internship.

“I am disgruntled because I was working on a project that was going to help a lot of American Indians in post-secondary education,” Gibson said, “and now, that might be delayed until next year because my agency will be so behind on other projects.”

Many members of the D.C. community who have also been furloughed share Sierra’s irritation. Not surprisingly, discontent with the government shutdown has become the conversation of choice at anything from lunch meetings to networking events; everyone in the area keeps asking each other if they have been deemed “essential” or not. Indeed, when the government shuts down in a government town, many are left without much to contemplate other than when the government will be back open for business.

Richard Ahne CMC ’15, a furloughed intern at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, sees the shutdown as a wasted opportunity.

“It‘s frustrating because preparing for the program is a lot of investment,” Ahne said. “Not just financially, but also in terms of figuring out what you want to do. D.C. is supposed to be very fun, but the primary reason I was here was to intern here, and it’s frustrating to not be able to do that.”

While it has been a unique experience to see the ramifications of a government shutdown from an insider’s point of view (and without losing one’s internship), the opportunities for all students to learn as much as they can about the many intricacies of Washington D.C. – and the American system of government itself – have been limited as a result. Congress is not holding as many hearings as usual, which reduces their ability to oversee different agencies. The Smithsonian Museum, which includes the National Air and Space Museum, the Natural History Museum, and the National Zoo, is closed – a very unpleasant reality of the shutdown, as visiting the museum is one of the highlights of coming to D.C. Our very own Washington Program is a bit befuddled, since half of the experience of the Washington Program is having an internship.

While it makes for good conversation material that will one day be shamelessly embellished – “I was actually there when it happened” – the government shutdown has certainly lost its luster to those of us interning in D.C.

Surviving 6:01

By now, CMC students’ WOA leaders, orientation sponsors, and resident assistants have likely shed some light on “6:01,” the infamous event that concludes the first week of classes and begins CMC’s party year. If your fine mentors went into any detail about 6:01’s rich history, you’ve learned that the occasion previously commemorated the completion of CMC’s dry week.

CMC’s dry week – during which the school prohibits any and all consumption of alcohol on campus – previously occupied the totality of freshman orientation and the first week of classes, concluding at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday evening. Naturally, CMC students paid homage to the end of dry week with a cocktail soiree on Green Beach, which began promptly at 6:01 p.m. The 6:01 tradition grew into a state-of-the-art annual festivity as students discovered innovative celebratory techniques, such as pouring champagne into friends’ mouths from over the Green dorm balcony. Unfortunately, that innovation went a little too far a few years ago, when some students endeavored to celebrate the occasion by releasing doves from a cage. (Apparently the release didn’t go as planned.)

The CMC administration responded to the out-of-handedness that had become 6:01 by shortening dry week to just a few days, concluding at 8:00 a.m. on the morning of the first day of classes. The general understanding is that the college intended to curb the excessive drinking at 6:01 provoked by the long wait. It may have worked – the party has apparently mellowed the last few years – but it didn’t stop students from continuing the tradition that is 6:01.

This year, the college has returned to the previous week-long dry period, with just one catch. Dry week will end at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday rather than 6:00 p.m. There will be a countdown to 6:01 on Green Beach nonetheless.

6:01 can be a fun occasion when celebrated responsibly, but for many it unfortunately becomes a night of regrets. We’d like for you, the class of 2017, to avoid that fate, so we’ve collected a few freshman-year 6:01 anecdotes from some upperclassmen. Do yourselves a favor and learn from our mistakes.

“Like many CMC students, I chose to remain sober throughout high school. While this choice worked well during adolescence, it also meant that I arrived in Claremont ill-equipped to handle 5C parties or Thursday Night Clubs (TNC). At 6:01, I went insane – to put it mildly. I drank enough rum to satisfy a crew of pirates. When I awoke the following morning in a groggy stupor, I grabbed my towel and headed for the shower. As I was washing shampoo out of my hair, I realized that I had actually entered the girl’s bathroom. Luckily, I managed to escape without alerting the girl in the shower next to me. Enjoy 6:01, but take it easy. You have four years to go wild.”

“At my freshman year 6:01, I got a little too confident with a guy on Green Beach. I’d seen him around campus during orientation and thought he was cute. When I stumbled into him after the 6:01 countdown, we started talking and he asked if we’d been in the same math department orientation session. (We had.) I immediately blurted out that yes, of course I remembered seeing him there because he was ‘hard to forget.’ He proceeded to ask me why he was so unforgettable – upon which I defensively ordered him not to make me answer that question! To this day, I wonder if he remembers this encounter whenever we run into each other on campus. Have fun flirting at 6:01, but don’t forget your filter.”

“I noticed a couple of kids near the fence of one of the Pomona-Pitzer pools talking about how they should hop the fence and go swimming. For some reason, they decided not to, but, being the adventurous drunk that I am, I decided to hop the fence and see what was on the other side. This dangerous venture involved avoiding barbed wire, shimmying across a 15-20 foot tall plaster wall, and sliding down a flag-pole. I somehow made it. Once in the pool area, I didn’t jump in, but decided to open a door to see if I could sneak other people in. When I opened the door, an alarm sounded, so I ran through some bushes, jumped back over the fence as quickly as possible, and was safe – only to realize that I had just lost my keys, which are worth $150 each, plus a $15 fee for my ID card. With both items necessary for any sort of access to dorms, classrooms and meals, I quickly tried to hop the fence a second time. But, as I reached the top, I saw a security guard in the pool area and immediately decided to abort the mission.”

“Brace yourselves…. College is coming. In times of old (as in last year), there were waterfalls flowing from the hills of Green, streams glistening from the North to Marks, and a glorious, awesome barrage of funk louder than thunder. All dramatics aside, 6:01 is a time of fun, festivities, and free-ranging. Take it from someone who’s been in your shoes: DRINK A LOT…. OF WATER!!! That’s the best way to ensure that you can actually keep up with 6:01 and make it memorable as well. MUCH LOVE AND WELCOME TO THE COMMUNITY!”

“What looks good?”: Dining Halls at the Claremont Colleges

Unlike students at other colleges and universities, 5Cers are spoiled with choices when deciding where to eat. While it might be daunting at first, the varied selection of dining halls ends up becoming one of the best perks of attending the Claremont Colleges. That being said, each dining hall has its own pros and cons with regards to food quality, location and atmosphere. So, before you use up that precious meal-swipe (which you can only use once each meal), here is a cursory review of each dining hall to aid you in your decision of where to eat.

Pomona College

Frank: Located in the south campus of Pomona (near the Pomona freshman dorms), a trip to Frank is quite the trek for most 5C students. That’s not to say that non-Pomona freshmen should ignore it completely, as it is the only dining hall that offers cuisine that is not typically found across the 5Cs (such as soul food-themed meals). Pomona freshmen will be eating at Frank most days whether they like it or not because Pomona’s south campus is so far from the other dining halls.

Frary: Located in the northeast corner of Pomona, Frary is known by many students as the “Hogwarts” dining hall. Its high-vaulted ceilings, dark wooden furniture and huge mural of Prometheus certainly set the scene and create a dining experience that is truly one of a kind. The food is pretty standard 5C fare, with some gems thrown in every once in a while. Recently, Frary has begun offering fresh, oven baked cookies that give Scripps a run for its money (sacrilege, I know) and its “burrito and quesadilla night” is probably the best Tex-Mex you will find on campus (just don’t expect Chipotle-quality burritos).

Oldenborg: The least popular dining hall – for good reason. Even though the food at the Claremont Colleges is generally at a high level (especially compared to cafeterias in other universities/high schools), Oldenborg’s food quality falls way below the norm. The unique thing about Oldenborg is that it only offers lunch, and you have to sit at foreign language tables where people converse in languages other than English (speaking English is definitely frowned upon). Pomona foreign language classes typically force you to eat there during the semester as a way to practice speaking in another language. Oldenborg is one dining hall to stay away from – unless you need to go there for a class.

Claremont McKenna College

Collins: Offering what can be best described as the most consistent food available to students, there typically isn’t anything mind-blowingly good at CMC’s Collins Dining Hall, but there is always something that you will enjoy. Collins is best known for its lunch offerings, such as “World Wok” and “Little Italy.” If you get there before (or after) the lunch rush, I definitely recommend getting these made-to-order offerings. The highlight of the year is far and away the famous Christmas dinner, with a live band and some of the best food you will get in the 5C dining halls. Unfortunately though, for other Claremont Colleges students, this is a CMC-only event.

Scripps College

Malott: Scripps’ Malott Dining Hall is known primarily for its lunches. If you enjoy fresh, make-your-own salads, you can’t go wrong by eating at Scripps. Students who are used to meals with fewer greens should stay away, but, for those who like a healthy lunch, this is the best place to eat. Dinners are usually on the disappointing side, especially if you like your dinners to be filling. That being said, Scripps offers the best weekly steak dinner at the 5Cs, and its fresh, oven-baked cookies are almost a reason to go to Scripps’ dinners alone. Scripps’ made-to-order brunch smoothies are also one of the most popular drinks offered across the dining halls – just beware of the lines.

Pitzer College

McConnell: If you wake up for it, Pitzer’s breakfast is by far the best in the Claremont Colleges. Offering fresh-squeezed juices, smoothies, and the best omelets and pastries you will find on campus, Pitzer breakfast makes waking up for those weekday morning classes manageable. It also is the only campus to offer a weekly “AM in the PM” dinner, which is a highlight for those who like eating omelets and pancakes in the evening. Desserts are also delicious, with a wide variety of fresh treats available at every meal.

Harvey Mudd College

Hoch-Shanahan: Last, but certainly not least, is Harvey Mudd’s Hoch-Shanahan Dining Hall. Whether its breakfast, lunch, dinner or brunch, you will generally be glad that you made the (long) walk to “The Hoch,” as it’s affectionately known on campus. Pasta night is extremely popular, but you will have to wait in line for sometimes up to 30 minutes to get your food. Friday night make-your-own pizza is a highlight, too, offering the only made-to-order, individual-sized pizzas at the 5Cs. If you have the time to walk there, you will (usually) not be disappointed.

One last tip: Bookmark Mike Maltese’s 5C Menu web app (http://aspc.pomona.edu/menu/). Updated daily with the latest menus, it allows you to compare dining hall menus on one, simple page. It is absolutely invaluable when deciding where to eat at the 5Cs.

A Call for Tolerance

By Kyle Woods – Guest Contributor

 

Tolerance is a cornerstone of American thought. Whether or not you believe in conservative or liberal ideals, it is generally understood that as Americans we should be tolerant of all viewpoints. While we have struggled with this in the past, I proudly believe that we have developed a widening tolerance in recent decades. Our tolerance and open-mindedness as a nation sets us apart as a beacon for free speech and thought. Unfortunately there has been a disturbing trend of intolerance on our campuses here recently. While students here may propagate conservative economic thinking, there are relatively few political conservatives, and to admit that you are a conservative or a Republican certainly has a stigma attached to it.

Some of the progressives here at the 5Cs are more than happy to support and promote this stigma. Supporting this stereotype elevates the partisanship of both groups, breeding more extreme thought on both sides of the aisle. When progressives immediately impose stereotypes upon Republicans or conservatives, this only deepens the resolve of Republican students and creates a more partisan atmosphere. To be a Republican on our campuses is to be an elitist snob who seeks to control women and who wants to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. This is far from the truth, and our Republican students deserve the right to be judged upon their actions and beliefs rather than stereotypes. Stereotyping against liberal or progressive students does not occur nearly as often, and it should not occur at all. All of our students deserve to have their opinions judged by their merits rather than a label.

Republican students in 5C budget hearings should not be told by members of the budgeting committee to avoid playing intramural soccer because Republicans are only good at golf. I enjoy a good joke among friends about my political beliefs, but to be told out of malice that I should stick to certain sports and avoid others due to my political beliefs is beneath the caliber of discourse we maintain at the 5Cs. It is no different than saying that liberals are weak, and as such should avoid football because they cannot handle such a violent sport. Alternatively, this low form of stereotyping is a predecessor to more invasive judgments. A student at the 5Cs, or any human being for that matter, deserves to be heard. It is unlikely they have extreme beliefs. It is more likely as a Republican that they believe in conservative economic principles, smaller government, and more freedom for the individual who deserves protection from state intrusion into their life.

I argue here not for a favorable view of the Republican Party, or that everyone should vote for Republican candidates; I’ll save that for another day. Instead, I implore the students of our campuses to support tolerance of conservative thought in the same way we support tolerance of other beliefs. I argue for reason, compromise and intellectual discourse. I’ve been here for four years now and have loved every one of them, but without a doubt there are students here whose opinions of me have been shaped entirely upon my identity as a Republican, and who think lesser of me for it. We are better than that. We are better than stereotyping, and we are better than thinking of people as nothing more than a label. We are the future leaders of this nation, and if we are not tolerant now, when will we ever be?

 

Image Source: Metro