Keep in mind that Berkeley isn't really a standout here. Most young people (especially college students) do not consider themselves conservatives, and Kerry won the votes of a very high percentage of young people (not all of whom attend college). Most young people seem to consider themselves moderate, but are actually much more close to liberal than conservative.
Quote: "And ttg, I think people should be more honest and more willing to listen to others."
DRab, I don't see why it was necessary to direct this statement at me. When you are saying "people," are you actually talking to me; that is, that I should be more honest and more willing to listen to others? Please clarify. Thanks.
I felt compelled to share my input given my background. As one can already tell, I felt that the release was not accurate on the "ground level." This was an important distinction, because political orientation as a campus unit is only worthy of mention as it pertains to one's daily experiences.
Whatever one puts on their Facebook account is meaningless if they are fearful to voice their opinions in the classroom or at the campus environment. Just a note, but random sampling on Facebook is not an accurate means of gauging any population, since it is not universally used by the entire student population (important- which are the type of people who don't subscribe to FB?) and there is a percentage of students who don't list their political views (fear, again) or soften their stance to be more politically correct (as it relates to the general Berkeley population). Facebook is a social network, and it would behoove a student who was conservative to regard oneself as "Moderate" for the purposes of not isolating certain populations.
I share my experiences as one who grew up in Orange County- a conservative bastion in the south- but in a city that was distinguished as having the "Greatest Hardship in America" with a minority population of roughly 85%. The city, as you might imagine, was a strong liberal base and the fear element found there is an apt comparison to Conservatives at Berkeley. Apart from being a minority ethnic group, the city's view was also a minority among OC as a whole. With that said, I feel my opinions have relative weight, although it is most useful for those who read these threads and describe themselves as "Conservative."
I don't feel as though I am perpetuating a misconception that Berkeley is very liberal place. In my opinion, as expressed through empirical evidence, it is. I have also provided the voting patterns of Berkeleyans, voting being the physical expression of one's political beliefs. I will mention that politics do not govern social life at Berkeley. As such, it is not "bad," insofar as (for the most part) it does not affect relations between professors or fellow students. However, my justification for calling Berkeley "very liberal" is that you'd be hard pressed to find many more colleges more liberal than Berkeley.
Before we send DRab out on his mission to find liberal colleges, I want him to keep in mind the principle of volume versus percentage. The sheer volume at Berkeley can make certain things- not necessarily political views- intimidating and overwhelming. Going to the public university debate, many students come to Berkeley as a money-saving proposition and thus do not have the wherewithal to choose a particular environment in line with their own views; a poor, conservative student who wishes to go to a private, historically conservative college might have to settle on Berkeley: certain, smaller, private colleges have the ability to self-select populations and the students with financial means have the ability to choose a college on campus life alone. And, lest we not forget, the historical "advantage" Berkeley has on just about every college in the nation. Those who come here are well aware of Berkeley's history and, for a select population of incoming students, this is the deciding factor as to why they came here. So, you also must factor in that population of "extreme" students (extreme in that they base their college selection on the prevailing political view of the campus environment). And finally, do not let cheap, commerical rankings (ugh) like Princeton Review direct you as to your ultimate list of 10-20 liberal colleges that you don't think is hard to find. Keep in mind that I offered voting habits of students and residents of the general population of the area, in addition to providing empirical evidence.
UC Santa Cruise, Oberlin College, Bard College, and Vassar College come to mind. Honestly, it's really not that hard to find some. Huge numbers of LACs are more liberal than Berkeley is on a percentage basis, with a higher percentage of the extreme liberals as well.
My conservative daughter (non-meat-eating though) complains that UCSD is too liberal. Luckily she's in CS and the political biases of the professors don't really come up much in the engineering and science courses. They certainly do in many of the other courses though. There's also a bookstore on campus (not the main one) that some professors require students to buy through (only place they sell the required books for those professors' courses) that is blatantly very far left-leaning.
I second what DRab said regarding UCSC being very liberal.
I don't know much about higher education in Washington or Oregon, but that may be the case. Also, a place like Pitzer College in Claremont may give it a run for its money (if you include "colleges," but the different is another discussion). Reed College may as well. Perhaps Scirpps, bur maybe not. And depending how East you go, there might be compentition. Pomona is fairly liberal but probably cannot compare to these other places.
Read Post 22 again. You cannot go by percentage alone for the reasons I listed in Post 22. Again, I don't care about what percentage of students claim to be liberal. This may be an idicator, but not representative of what students have to deal with on a daily basis (I dubbed it "ground level" experience, third time term used). A number of colleges were listed and yet they're all unsubstantiated with the exception of UCSC (although bolding some letters and claiming it's "more liberal" is not saying much). I don't see how you can say a certain college has more extreme liberals, given that you did not provide anything to support your claim.
Still not convinced,
Berkeley is still #1 (in Liberalism),