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How liberal is UW-Madison?

CaptainKarlCaptainKarl Posts: 16Registered User New Member
My son was just accepted at Univ Wisconsin. We are from the Northeast and fairly conservative. Been reading and hearing from others that Univ Wisc is extremely liberal.
Fiske Guide to colleges even says that its a "haven for liberals" and is the "heartland for progressive politics". My son doesnt mind a good political debate but I dont want him to be outnumbered 100 to 1. I wouldnt want him to go to a purely conservative school either. Our preference is to find a school in the middle politically. Any thoughts or experiences?
Post edited by CaptainKarl on

Replies to: How liberal is UW-Madison?

  • Wisc2015Wisc2015 Posts: 56Registered User Junior Member
    Wisconsin (especially the city of Madison) is known for being very liberal. However, the University, like any other large school has its diversity, but yes, Wisconsin's halls are filled with more liberals probably than conservatives. The fact that Wisconsin's chancellor is openly gay is also a pretty good indicator of the political ideology of the campus.

    Congrats to your son, though. Wisconsin is a GREAT school!
  • MNTwinsMNTwins Posts: 128Registered User Junior Member
    It's honestly not too bad. I'm a freshmen here and am quite conservative; I was expecting the liberalness to be overwhelming but it isn't fortunately. There are obviously more liberals here than conservatives but it isn't that bad.

    The city of Madison as a whole is a lot more liberal than the school itself is I think. The precincts encompassing the freshmen dorms went for GOP candidates this fall at a higher rate then any other precinct in the city. There were a good number of campaigners for Ron johnson and Scott Walker around campus and a good number of people celebrating after they won.

    The school used to be a lot more liberal and activst but this is dieing off quite a bit. This fact annoys the hell out of a lot of old timers who want the place to go back to "how it was". (As in back to the days when student Veitnam "activists" bombed Sterling Hall and killed someone) All the old hippies that live around town always come to campus and try to reliving the glory days by holding rallies and peace dances near State St but the majority of students are too busy, indifferent, or drunk to care. If by liberal you mean annoying hippie activists holding rallies you'll be fine. If by liberal you mean smoke weed and drink ALOT of alchohol, then you might want to rethink Madison because both activities are done in large quantities here.

    The thing is, as UW becomes much more selective and harder to get into, it's becoming a lot less, atleast visably, liberal. You'll see the hipsters around but they're nowhere near the majority. Much more common now is the engineer and business major who studies his ass off all week and then gets completely wasted on Fridays and Saturdays and doesn't have time for politics.

    Liberal or conservative though, everyone loves the place and the Badgers. There's no other better place to go to college for four years in the country.
  • wis75wis75 Posts: 9,023Registered User Senior Member
    Don't worry about UW being liberal. Most students will be coming from more conservative areas, with traditional values. Your son will find like minded people. If he is religious he is likely to find fellow students at a near campus church of his choice. Being liberal means an openess to new ideas. It is no longer the radical campus of the Vietnam era- no worries about that. Do not worry about drugs/drinking, either- easy to avoid. Nice thing about a large campus- room enough for many different ideas and lifestyles. Your son is likely to find his niche. He may have his ideas challenged- a good thing to have to think about why you hold beliefs, of any kind.
  • Redhawks33Redhawks33 Posts: 29Registered User New Member
    UW-Madison is certainly more liberal than conservative, but by no means is it unbearable or ridiculously overwhelming for conservative minded students. As a very moderate individual I have been very pleasantly surprised by the diversity of political ideologies here at the UW. In fact, one evening I found myself defending the Democratic party amidst a group of six or seven Republicans during a late night meeting of the minds. Your son will be fine. UW is and incredible school. Each day I find myself thinking about how fortunate I am to attend this great University.
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