August 18, 2013

A Message To College Conservatives

I came across this bit of wisdom written by a student from Missouri -- in an age that is notoriously less politically tolerant than when i was in college three decades ago, these points are important for you to remember.

1. Headís up, everyone that surrounds you on campus, including professors and students will more than likely be liberal. Itís the constant struggle that all Conservative college students face. At times you may feel like youíre one in a million because your political views are so different than the people around you. Donít be discouraged, there are Conservatives on your campusĖI promise. You just have to find them.

2. The classes will be biasedĖmostly against you. Donít be afraid to speak up even if your opinion is different than your professors. However, do not be rude. They are still your professor and they are in charge of the classroom. If a professor ever truly picks on you in a distasteful way about your beliefs being different than his or hers, contact an administrator. Some good administrators to start out having conversations with are you collegeís Vice President of Student Affairs, the Dean of Students, or the department head of that specific academic area. Having differing opinions is okay in a college setting; being mistreated because of them is not okay and should not be tolerated.

3. You will be shocked at how easily students absorb Liberal teachings. Some conservative students even get swept away by these teachers and change their morals and ideals. Donít fall into this trap. Keep thinking and reasoning for yourself.

4. Join a Conservative organization. Nearly all colleges will have a College Republicans, Young Americans for Liberty, Young Americans Foundation, or some other Conservative group. Joining these groups from the start can help weed out some of the Democrat trolls who will despise your existence because you are a Republican. You will always feel more at home and be in good company around fellow Conservatives.

5. If youíre interested in going into political policy-making or government work in the future, join your Student Government Association at your college. It doesnít matter if everyone is a Liberal in your SGA, if youíre competent and a hard-worker you can accomplish great things while on campus. Most schoolsí SGAís will be non-partisan.

6. If you want to start a riot, do so respectfully. Chances are, your views will be almost always different than other people. If youíre mad about something and want someone to know about it, donít use profane language or insult anyone in the name of your Conservative cause. That makes the rest of us look like we all belong in the Westboro Baptist Church. Youíre still under the authority of the administration at your college, even if you disagree with them. Make sure you are following the set-aside rules for protesting and spreading information to other students on campus.

7. Be prepared for your new college friends to start trolling you on Facebook and Twitter when you voice your political opinion. This will especially become apparent when election season is rolling around where everyone who never cared about politics suddenly turns into Rush Limbaugh-esque commentator on social media.

8. Get connected with local Republican politicians and Conservative groups in your community. Sometimes seeking Conservative companions off campus is greatly rewarding. The older members of these groups would love to see younger members and college-age involvement. You might even end up getting an internship or working on a campaign. Getting your name ďout thereĒ off campus is extremely important if youíre wanting to go into politics.

9. Wearing Republican/Conservative t-shirts, stickers, pins, and putting stickers on your laptop in class will almost always spark a conversation with professors and other students. They will probably call you weird, or grill you on your ideology. But, if you know what youíre talking about then you should be okay. Just donít start a political World War III in the classroom about your differing political views than your peers.

10. Join the young Conservative cause online. There are thousands of other college-aged students like yourself going through the daily struggles of living on a Liberal campus. Start following young Conservatives on Twitter, Facebook, blogs like this one, and YouTube. You just might be surprised that you will meet some of your most supportive team of companions online.

I was fortunate to start my college career on a conservative campus -- and when I transferred I ended up at a school that had a tolerant political atmosphere. Indeed, the only time I ever ran into a serious political issue was when I took a position on an issue that involved both political and religious issues and a professor from my department had the audacity to contact the bishop of my diocese with a demand that I be ORDERED to publicly retract my claims that student funds were being used to support anti-Catholicsm on campus (I did get a call from the chancery office -- praising me for having raised the issue). With this exception, I was well-treated by my professors, including the state ACLU board member who I worked for as a graduate assistant.

But i will also urge you to be prepared to take serious action in the event that you find yourself a target. If backed into a corner where your rights are being violated, don't back down -- contact groups like the Alliance Defending Freedom or the American Center for Law and Justice for legal assistance. You may not want to go to court, but if you are being muzzled by discriminatory treatment or threatened with academic retaliation for using your First Amendment rights, it is important that you stand firm.

H/T College Insurrection

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Comments on A Message To College Conservatives

I really should've joined an on-campus conservative organization while I was in college... I think I'd have had a better overall experience and would've made more friends there.

Good post, by the way.

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