If a liberal bias can be proven anywhere in academia, it is most likely to be discovered among the enclaves known as the Ivy League.
Brown University is certainly no exception, as Travis James Rowley learned as he began his undergraduate journey there in Providence, Rhode Island.
The messages he received from the university and from student organizations that were encouraged by the university were overwhelmingly liberal. As Rowley writes in his book, Out of Ivy:How the Liberal Ivy Created a Committed Conservative this is what he heard:
• Have sex. Lots of it. And with as many partners as possible. Gay sex with five other men in a shower if you prefer…Just do whatever feels good right now, young ones. Nothing of sacrifice, discipline, or responsibility matters. And don’t go worrying about any “consequences.” Especially pregnancy. There’s an easy way out of that.
• Yes, there are other [conservative] opinions out there, but the holders of those thoughts are either bigots, stupid, or not as enlightened as their progressive-minded counterparts.
• You think that way only because you’re white. You’ve never been poor. And you have never had to experience real hardship due to your “white privilege.”
• Even Brown professors agree: Silence David Horowitz in order to save democracy.
• Athletes are stupid.
“All of the University’s messages—victimization, ultra-sensitivity, the whining, and the political wickedness—seemed to contradict everything I had learned during the first 18 years of my life. Most of all, I recognized an absence of conflict, a mysterious deficiency of fight,” Rowley said.
In his book, Rowley admits that he did not realize he was a conservative before college and explains that he was not political. It was not until the worship of diversity, multiculturalism, immorality and sensitivity at Brown bugged him and he didn’t understand why.
“I think football saved me. One of the main reasons why I never set foot on the path of student activism with my classmates was because I already had an identity…From the time I was very young, and through high school, my time on the playing fields had shaped my character upon my entrance to Brown University. Sports helped instill in me a set of values that I now believe ultimately deterred me from joining any campus group that promoted liberal ideals,” said Rowley.
By Rowley’s junior year, he was fed up with the rampant liberalism and silencing of dissent at Brown. When he saw a flyer for columnists for the Brown Daily Herald he chose to submit an op-ed without any of the knowledge or experience he thought was necessary. It turned out he did have what was needed most, decency and common sense.
Tackling such incidents as students from Brown who protested the Bush inauguration, racial profiling, pornographic posters to advertise parties hosted by the gay community, and issues like women needing men and why abortion is murder caused quite a stir on campus. Rowley received hate mail, harassing phone calls and the loss of many friends, but he also learned that there were other students who quietly shared his conservatism.
Rowley survived Brown, without succumbing to the liberal indoctrination he documents thoroughly and with humor in Out of Ivy, but said that what he could have become frightens him. He could have been just “Another collegiate tragedy of wasted intellect. Another member of the Ivy offspring, infected with teachings of entitlement and a diminished sense of individualism. Politically indoctrinated, taught to view others as helpless, and assisting communal outlooks of discouragement.”
Since Rowley’s graduation in 2002, he writes that some people do not believe Brown has all the problems it had when Rowley attended. He believes some improvements have occurred, but Brown has not been cured.
It is his belief that it takes too long for students to devise a plan to counter campus liberalism, because they will graduate before accomplishing it. Rather, Rowley looks to hold educators accountable for their betrayal of alumni, parents and students as well as their nation.
In that vein, Rowley now sits on the board for The Foundation for Intellectual Diversity that raises money to support conservative groups and activities at Brown. For more information visit www.idiversity.org. If you are interested in ordering Rowley’s book it is available on Amazon. For those in the Washington, D.C. area, Rowley will be speaking at an AIA event on June 19th in 2105 Rayburn House Office Building. The program will run from 11 a.m. to 12 noon and lunch will be provided at no cost. Please RSVP to Carisa.Bergen@aim.org.
Julia A. Seymour is a staff writer for Accuracy in Academia.