A new survey of students at Brandeis University revealed that three in four conservatives keep their political beliefs private out of concerns of social or academic consequences.
A new article from Boston Magazine revealed that liberal professors outnumber conservative professors 28-to-1 in New England. The piece, entitled, “How Liberal Professors Are Ruining College,” columnist Chris Sweeney lays out a strong case for the negative effect that some liberal professors are having on university environments.
In a survey conducted by The Brandeis Hoot, the university’s student newspaper, only 13 percent of the 500 students surveyed identified as conservative. Of the 13 percent that identified as conservative, three-quarters claimed that concealed their political beliefs on campus.
Sweeney tells a story of a student who felt it best to conceal his conservative tendencies after his economics professor expressed his hatred for Republicans during a classroom discussion.
My intro to microeconomics course, I won’t name the professor, but he literally yelled that he hated Republicans in class,” Gimelstein says. Though it was intended to be more humorous than mean-spirited, it had a chilling effect. “While all my classmates were laughing along, I wasn’t laughing,” he says. “It was kind of insulting and it made it harder to have a productive conversation.
The student explained that this experience with his economics processors led to his decision to keep his political views private, despite his claim that his politics were a big part of his identity.
[A]fter watching his professor make fun of Republicans in class and gauging just how seriously other students took their progressive beliefs, he decided the only truly safe space was in the political closet. “Politics is a big part of who I am,” he confides. “I definitely spend a lot of my downtime reading or listening to news and politics-related content. [At Brandeis], I have done that in secret.”
Another Brandeis student shared a story about a professor who made a disparaging comment about Phyllis Schafly on the day following her death.
When the influential conservative Phyllis Schlafly died this past September, Musto recalls, one of his professors quipped, “There’s a special place in hell for people like her.” A month later, when Tom Hayden, a co-author of the Port Huron Statement and founder of the Students for a Democratic Society, died, the same professor eulogized Hayden’s contributions to the left. … Frustrating as it is for him, Musto keeps a low profile for fear of being that guy in the eyes of the person who will be grading his papers. Like other Brandeis conservatives, he says, “I never really speak up.”
Tom Ciccotta is a libertarian who writes about social justice and libertarian issues for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @tciccotta or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org