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Can political involvement hurt admissions chances?

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Replies to: Can political involvement hurt admissions chances?

  • SybyllaSybylla Registered User Posts: 498 Member
    >>>>>>>>(as long as it isn't some crazy radical organization>>>>>>>>>

    http://www.yaf.org/

    That is one interesting front page. And I thought, how bad could it possibly be, and even clicked a few pages. They have a list though, of conservative colleges, that might be useful.
  • marvin100marvin100 Registered User Posts: 9,013 Senior Member
    YAF is almost certainly fine (although people it supports, like Michelle Malkin, who wrote a book in defense of Japanese internment and racial profiling; and Dinesh D'Souza, who admitted and was convicted of campaign finance law violations and produces hilariously bad propaganda films, are close to the edge).
  • roethlisburgerroethlisburger Registered User Posts: 737 Member
    Dinesh D'Souza, who admitted and was convicted of campaign finance law violations and produces hilariously bad propaganda films, are close to the edge.

    A lot of people think Mr. D'Souza was targeted for selective prosecution based on his political statements. We don't need to derail the thread by rehashing his case, but this illustrates marvin100 or the adcom reading an app might have very different definitions of mainstream conservative than your daughter or YAF.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 58,679 Senior Member
    marvin100 wrote:
    While the distinction has blurred in some areas, educated, scholarly adults (on all parts of the political spectrum) are unlikely to share that conflation, imo.

    But then are the legions of temporary admissions readers hired to give thousands of applications their preliminary scores always ones willing to consider that a conservative person is not some noxious "alt right" follower, given the prominence of the "alt right" these days?

    Of course, even educated people can have extreme viewpoints (including both left and right, including "alt right") that could lead them to hold contempt for those (including non-extreme ones) on the other side of the political spectrum. That politics is now more heavily racialized than in the past, and is treated like racism and racial identity, only means that it is harder to have a respectful, cordial disagreement with someone with differing political views.
  • cobratcobrat Registered User Posts: 11,288 Senior Member
    edited March 18
    There were conservatives at Oberlin when I attended.

    While they had to put up with more challenges, the level of heated discussions/attacks were similar to or sometimes far less in frequency/intensity than what I've seen radical progressive left classmates dish out to each other over disagreement on 1-2% of things.

    Most colleges have their liberals in the humanities, and the centrists in the sciences, engineering, and business.

    That's a gross overgeneralization. Engineers/CS folks I've worked with, knew from HS, or interacted with at computer techie conventions tended to the extremes politically...either extreme-right libertarians or radical progressive(a.k.a. radical neo-hippies) who'd fit in very well among the more radical Oberlinians of the '90s*.

    I've known several undergrad humanities**/Ed school graduates who are deeply conservative and voted for the current POTUS, including a spouse of a friend who is himself a CS graduate and is center-left in his politics. Incidentally, this is one major factor in why the recent election caused much tension between him and his spouse and her parents.

    * Oberlin has actually become less radical and more mainstreamed after I graduated at the end of the '90s. Back when I attended, even favoring the Green Party meant you would have been considered "too conservative/right wing" for some whereas nowadays, they'd be a bit more left than many younger Oberlin alums/students who graduated from ~'03 and later.

    ** Within the humanities/social sciences, the areas where conservatives tend to gravitate to in my observations tend to be Art History, Classics, US/Western European History(Mainly of the Anglo-Saxon societies), US and Western European areas of Politics/Poli-sci, Military History***, Economics, etc.

    *** That's not synonymous to say no left-leaning centrists or progressives gravitate to those fields as well.
    (although people it supports, like Michelle Malkin, who wrote a book in defense of Japanese internment and racial profiling;

    Incidentally, Michelle Malkin is an Oberlin alum(Class '92).

    Found it interesting that according to wikipedia's sources, she initially attempted to enroll in the Conservatory as a Piano performance major****, but ended up in the college majoring in English lit.

    Especially considering she's followed a well-worn path many Oberlin classmates trotted....enrolling in the college after failing to gain admission to or not being able to cope with the Conservatory's more exacting demands/competition.

    ****http://www.goldsea.com/Personalities/Malkin/malkin.html
  • marvin100marvin100 Registered User Posts: 9,013 Senior Member
    @roethlisburger - that may be true, but he pleaded guilty.
  • marvin100marvin100 Registered User Posts: 9,013 Senior Member
    ucbalumnus wrote:
    But then are the legions of temporary admissions readers hired to give thousands of applications their preliminary scores always ones willing to consider that a conservative person is not some noxious "alt right" follower, given the prominence of the "alt right" these days?

    I'd argue that the very large schools that have to hire those "legions" are the schools least likely to care about applicants' political leanings.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 58,679 Senior Member
    edited March 18
    marvin100 wrote:
    I'd argue that the very large schools that have to hire those "legions" are the schools least likely to care about applicants' political leanings.

    The schools (at their highest policy levels) may not (or may have an official political neutrality policy for admissions), but that does not necessarily mean that individual admissions readers will be the same. In many jobs, people can inappropriately inject their own political viewpoints into how they do their jobs; college admissions reading is no different in this respect.

    In addition, the school does not have to be very large; it just needs to attract a large number of applications for it to have a need to hire legions of temporary admission readers to do preliminary scoring.
  • MamaBear16MamaBear16 Registered User Posts: 1,019 Senior Member
    I would hope that it wouldn't make a difference, but it might. I guess if a college would not want your D because of this perhaps it's not the right place for her.
  • marvin100marvin100 Registered User Posts: 9,013 Senior Member
    ucbalumnus wrote:
    In many jobs, people can inappropriately inject their own political viewpoints into how they do their jobs; college admissions reading is no different in this respect.

    Yeah, I won't try to argue that it's impossible, but I do think it's unlikely at all but the largest schools. Adcomm meet in conference with great frequency, and an adcomm with such a proclivity would not be employed for long. Now, if the director of admissions did, that's another story...
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 21,882 Senior Member
    edited March 18
    I work for a liberal elite and no, it won't hurt, in itself. But. A) remember, they aren't just looking for club titles, nor get togethers, a little chat club. And B,) she'll still need to show she's a thinking individual, isn't just reactive. It helps to show she consdered her positions, has followed through on pursuing them. Eg, she could vol with a cause or local representative. Same as for more liberal types intetested in this.

    Regional reps, the admissions officers, read apps first, not the additional folks. They want diversity of thought, but some sophistication helps, energies in the right directions. In a way, it's put your efforts where you say your interests are.

    This isn't about expounding on her beliefs in the app. They aren't vetting on political stands.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 58,679 Senior Member
    marvin100 wrote:
    Yeah, I won't try to argue that it's impossible, but I do think it's unlikely at all but the largest schools. Adcomm meet in conference with great frequency, and an adcomm with such a proclivity would not be employed for long. Now, if the director of admissions did, that's another story...

    Would they have time to regrade the preliminary grades given by initial admissions readers to 30,000+ applications just to make sure that no political bias crept into the readings?
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 21,882 Senior Member
    And I doubt you could call any college's addl folks "legion."

    Of course there are conservatives in the mix. Or many who see value in a range of their own positions. It's not cookie cutter.
  • marvin100marvin100 Registered User Posts: 9,013 Senior Member
    @ucbalumnus - why do you think those initial grades would reflect something like this? They're based on very clear, quantitative measures like GPA and test scores, afaik.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 58,679 Senior Member
    marvin100 wrote:
    why do you think those initial grades would reflect something like this? They're based on very clear, quantitative measures like GPA and test scores, afaik.

    For at least some schools, initial scoring of applications is done by holistic reading, rather than just by numbers.
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