As a freshman during one of his first days on the campus of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, Travis James Rowley was told not to use the terms “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” to describe a significant other.
Rowley continued to be baffled by his ultra-liberal surroundings as he trudged through a sensitivity training course during his beginning weeks at Brown, while his minority classmates arrived at school a week early to attend what Rowley dubs as “victim-hood training.”
This extreme political correctness proved to be the common thread that wove Brown together during Rowley’s four years at the prestigious liberal Ivy. At every turn Rowley encountered left-wing professors imposing their views on their classes, students constantly belittling conservative ideology and the persistent bombardment of diversity being ingrained into his skull. Rowley was so scathed upon graduating in 2002 that he recently wrote a book entitled Out of Ivy: How the Liberal Ivy Created a Committed Conservative chronicling his experience at Brown and the overwhelmingly dominant presence of liberalism on campus. He spoke about his the ideas in his book and his experience at Brown on Monday, June 19 at the “Survivors of the Academy” luncheon sponsored by Accuracy in Academia.
“I came out [of Brown] pretty bitter,” Rowley admits of his bias against the university. Though liberals preach about their sensitivity and acceptance of all types of people and ideas, Rowley found them to be exclusive and disparaging towards viewpoints that conflicted with their own. “Liberals are not more compassionate,” he says, explaining the hatred he faced from his liberal classmates as a right-winged, conservative athlete. “They don’t care about eradicating bigotry, they care about advancing the liberal agenda,” he says.
With 94 percent of the staff at Brown registered as Democrats, it’s no wonder that leftist ideology is so pervasive on campus. “Essentially, what [Brown and other liberal universities] are doing is creating a wave of citizens that don’t like our country,” Rowley says. “The reason I wrote this book is because of patriotism. Liberals are all about tearing our country down, which I don’t agree with.”
Rowley cites his Bush-bashing classmates as an example of the anti-American sentiment that permeates the school. “A group of students from Brown went to D.C. to protest Bush’s inauguration in 2000,” Rowley explains. “They came back to Providence bragging about how they all gave President Bush the middle finger.”
The lack of morality that seems to be a trend among the left, as evidenced through Rowley’s protesting classmates, is disturbing to the young conservative. “I have very little tolerance for modern-day liberalism—the pity, excuses and soft mind-set associated with it,” he says. “I am not sensitive and I take on personal responsibility for my actions, with is a conservative trait. There is something very moral about asking people to do their best.”
Rowley was so unnerved by the one-minded, liberal “stop bigotry” campus mantra that he joined The Foundation for Intellectual Diversity, an organization that raises money to support conservative groups and activities at Brown. “We need to raise awareness about the lack of intellectual diversity at Ivy League schools so that we can change things for the future,” he says.
Katherine Duncan is an intern with Accuracy in Media, Accuracy in Academia’s parent organization.