While the perception of conservative students is that they are constantly being shouted down and/or silenced on their left-leaning campuses, that is apparently not always the case, according to Inside Higher Education.
Researchers Amy Binder, an associate professor of sociology at the U. of California, San Diego, and Kate Wood, a graduate student there, did some in-depth research by interviewing conservative students at two top schools identified only as “Eastern Elite” and Western Public.” While both schools are regarded as left-leaning by conservatives, the students at “Eastern Elite” viewed their “extreme minority” status as an opportunity to defend their views, and “not a single one regretted not going to a more conservative school.”
Students at “Western Public,” on the other hand, told a different story. “With larger classes and much less faculty interaction on an individual basis, students were more likely to say that they were the victims of bias. . . And at Western, students talked about ‘trying to get in fights’ with professors in class, of ‘trying to catch their professors in the act of liberal indoctrination.’”
Another difference researchers found was that the small, “close knit environment” of “Eastern Elite” meant that liberal-left faculty members treated students’ views more respectfully and were more engaged in campus debates, while “Western Public” professors were more detached and unavailable.
Deborah Lambert writes the Squeaky Chalk column for Accuracy in Academia.
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