Conservative Student Backlash

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

What is absolutely remarkable about the efforts of college professors and administrators to brainwash tomorrow’s leaders is how stunningly unsuccessful they are in influencing the best and the brightest students.

“Let’s face it, as conservative students, we don’t learn a whole lot,” Oregon State University’s Luke Sheehan told an audience at the 2006 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Sheehan and his peers are making every effort to make up for this failure of the Education Establishment by educating themselves in every conference held in the calendar year and studying the literature recommended at those meetings.

“Going around the booths, people say, ‘We didn’t know there were any conservatives in Oregon,’” Sheehan joked at CPAC. “Well, there aren’t.”

“Both of us are here.” Sheehan’s conservative student newspaper, The Liberty, exists on $4,000 a year in private contributions compared to the half a million dollars that the student government spends on a panoply of gay, feminist and environmental groups.

The latter cache of funds, of course, is extracted involuntarily from student fees and state tax dollars. And what do they do with the largesse?

The feminist group at OSU, for example, gets more than $130,000 a year in student government funding. “They had a female masturbation seminar and would not let any of the male population attend,” Sheehan reported. “They could not do this legally so they had a coed seminar.”

Sheehan’s newspaper, meanwhile, gains in circulation, as do conservative ideas on campus generally, despite administrators and professors who do their level best to suppress them. For instance, Students for Saving Social Security, which supports private personal retirement accounts, claims 300 campus chapters in 50 states. As we show in our next, March 2006, issue of Accuracy in Academia’s Campus Report newsletter, the Ivory Tower is about the last redoubt in American in which the denizens still assert with a straight face that Social Security is functional.

In international affairs, students are splitting markedly from their professor’s views as well. Although professors and administrators have been known to make student attendance at anti-war rallies mandatory, gatherings to support U. S. troops on campus draw attendees who come to the meetings of their own free will.

For that reason, colleges and universities do their utmost to prevent these happenings from even occurring. Rebecca Beach ran into such opposition when she tried to bring Lt. Col. Scott Rutter to campus to speak to her group. Miss Beach attends Warren County Community College in New Jersey.

Philosophy professor John Daly threatened a boycott. “Real freedom will come when soldiers in Iraq turn their guns on their superiors,” Professor Daly wrote in an e-mail to Miss Beach.

After media appearances on Fox News, the resulting outcry led to the professor’s resignation. Miss Beach held her event, and reported a healthy attendance at the talk. Both of these students credit groups such as the Young America’s Foundation, the Leadership Institute, Students for Academic Freedom and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education for helping them withstand the pressures of institutional campus intimidation.

In 20 years of attending speeches, lectures, and seminars in Washington, D. C., including those put on by Accuracy in Academia, I have watched attendance at these events mushroom. Can colleges and universities continue to promote an ideology by coercion when their students increasingly seek out the other side of the story by choice?

Malcolm A. Kline is the executive director of Accuracy in Academia.