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Conservative Campuses in the Norhteast

bigboy4bigboy4 Registered User Posts: 38 Junior Member
I am a high school junior from Central PA, a traditionally Republican area. As I began my college search, I began to realize that many top universities are dominated by liberals. I'm not looking for an overwhelmingly conservative campus, just one with a decent population. Also, most Republican campuses I have read about are in the South. Are there any selective schools with respectable conservative populations in the Mid-Atlantic? Thanks for any help!
Post edited by bigboy4 on
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Replies to: Conservative Campuses in the Norhteast

  • smwhtslghtlydzedsmwhtslghtlydzed Registered User Posts: 1,556 Senior Member
    georgetown is pretty conservative, and i've heard dartmouth is too. i think most colleges will have a good representation of all political groups; just stay away from oberlin and hampshire ;)
  • MomofWildChildMomofWildChild Registered User Posts: 22,533 Senior Member
    My son was a Republican at Penn and found it to be OK. Wharton helps with that.
  • morganhilmorganhil Registered User Posts: 393 Member
    BigBoy, I would challenge you to go to a college where there are students who are widely diverse. Don't believe what you read in the college guide books. Get out and visit these colleges. There are many so-called "liberal colleges" where you will be welcomed precisely because you have a different point of view. What you may as a high school junior call "conservative" may, upon arrival on your college campus in two years, turn out to be "libertarian". My high school English teacher long ago chastised me for labeling myself politically--as she told me: "Don't label yourself--you will find that others will do that for you anyway." That turned out to be excellent advice--the underlying point she was making was that not one of us is just a political label. Our identities are much more complex than that.

    With that in mind, I would encourage you to apply to colleges where there is a wide diversity of students, yet a close community. To have BOTH diversity AND community to me implies that diverse viewpoints are accepted. It does not mean that you will find people easily who agree with most everything you say--but that will be true of all of the other students just like you. College is a time to question things, to form opinions, to experiment.
    With that in mind, I recommend the following campuses that my son and I have visited and gotten to know in the past two years:

    Wesleyan University
    Haverford College
    Hamilton College
    Tufts University
    Bowdoin College
    Colgate University

    Some may argue that these are typically "liberal" campuses. While there may be many "liberals" there, what we also noticed quite quickly from spending time and talking with many students at these places was that they were both diverse and respectful of differences. I invite you to "look under the hood", question your assumptions and open your mind to this concept of a campus that, while labeled "liberal", is more accurately described as "diverse" and "community-oriented". Good luck!
  • warblersrulewarblersrule Super Moderator Posts: 10,050 Super Moderator
    bigboy4 wrote:
    I'm not looking for an overwhelmingly conservative campus, just one with a decent population. Also, most Republican campuses I have read about are in the South. Are there any selective schools with respectable conservative populations in the Mid-Atlantic?
    Check out Choosing the Right College (pun intended). Your local library might have a copy.

    CollegeGuide.org - Home
    Intercollegiate Studies Institute - ISI Books - Choosing the Right College 2010-11

    Also check the FIRE status of any schools of interest.

    FIRE


    For specific suggestions -- Lehigh, Johns Hopkins, CMU, Georgetown, UVA, and LACs like Franklin & Marshall and Lafayette might work. They are not really conservative, but their students lean much more toward apathetic than anything else, which would probably suit you perfectly well.
    morganhil wrote:
    BigBoy, I would challenge you to go to a college where there are students who are widely diverse.
    I believe that's precisely what the OP is looking for -- a school dominated neither by liberal nor conservative students but has a good population of both ("I'm not looking for an overwhelmingly conservative campus, just one with a decent population."). It is true that most colleges are heavily dominated by left-leaning students, with faculty often even more so.

    Just a few unfortunate examples of when and why a conservative student might feel uncomfortable on campus:
    • The president of Columbia insulted a guest speaker on campus before he even had a chance to speak.
    • Students at UNC threw rocks and broke a window in an angry protest of a lecture by a conservative speaker, having to be dispersed with tasers and pepper spray.
    • A professor at Duke led her students in heckling a conservative speaker.
    • Army recruiters at UCSC were forced to leave campus after student protesters got too aggressive.
    • Students at U Arizona and Earlham threw pies at conservative speakers.
    • Students at Western Michigan threw salad dressing at a conservative speaker.
    • A mob of several hundred students attacked the college Republicans at SFSU for handing out flyers with which they disagreed.
  • morganhilmorganhil Registered User Posts: 393 Member
    Warblersrule, I don't know how recent or how representative the list of unfortunate examples of left leaning students ganging up on conservative speakers at these campuses you cite is, but with respect to Earlham College, a private Quaker school in Indiana, you are referring to a 2005 incident. The president of Earlham, Douglas Bennett, a well-known Quaker--and pacifist--invited conservative pundit Bill Kristol to the campus to "balance" the on-campus discussion of the Iraq War and other issues. One student pied Kristol, and that student was suspended. Earlham does not tolerate this type of behavior, and I definitely do think that this student would be comfortable at
    Earlham. See link for more info:

    Christopher's Blog: Earlham student hits Neocon Pundit with Pie
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 84,806 Forum Champion
    because smart kids are liberal.


    Ha!

    Many, many smart kids are in STEM majors, and STEM majors aren't usually liberals...they are often middle of the road, or a bit left or right of center.

    Besides, this student isn't looking for a campus of all conservatives. He's looking for a campus that has a balance of students. What is wrong with that?
  • tk21769tk21769 Registered User Posts: 10,529 Senior Member
    One way to approach this problem is to examine college curriculum and governance. Look for schools with a strong Core or other curriculum that is structured around discussion of traditional, Western literary and historical texts. Or check out Jesuit colleges.

    Schools like Chicago, Columbia, or St. John's are not necessarily "conservative" on the American political spectrum. They do however engage all students in dialogue about big ideas that are not limited (or should not be) by contemporary perspectives.
  • CreeklandCreekland Registered User Posts: 5,207 Senior Member
    I second the "Choosing the Right College" recommendation. Stay away from schools that receive a "red" light for politics. There are many who receive green lights (Boston U, Fordham, and U of Rochester come to mind quickly for the northeast). Several more receive yellow lights. Text written about each school offers flavor much like any other guidebook. It's been very helpful in our search. I only wish they would evaluate more schools. You can see lights without paying for a subscription. Paying for the subscription allows you to see text. Generally you can see a code for 3 free write ups if you search the site a little bit.

    Note: These schools won't necessarily be overpopulated with conservatives, but conservatives do not tend to feel out of place or discriminated against there.

    As a parent who used to be liberal back in my college days, but who has since turned conservative based on my own real life experiences, I won't pay for a red light school.
  • tk21769tk21769 Registered User Posts: 10,529 Senior Member
    Stay away from schools that receive a "red" light for politics.

    Better yet, examine the reasons for the red light by CTRC or FIRE.

    FIRE gives a red light to one of the schools I suggested 2 posts ago (Chicago). The red light rating apparently was motivated (at least in part) by a Dean's attempt to censor one student's derogatory Facebook posting about another student (a former girlfriend). I agree that the college administration should not be trying to regulate student speech on the public Internet. But was this a case of one administrator overstepping authority? Or does it reflect a school policy that compromises academic freedom throughout the campus?

    I really don't know for sure. I'd hate to think any college has its Deans censoring my Internet posts, but I'd also be wary that the red-yellow-green ratings can become one more instance of knee-jerk reaction.
  • CreeklandCreekland Registered User Posts: 5,207 Senior Member
    I don't know about Fire, but Chicago gets a green light from the ISI site.
  • CreeklandCreekland Registered User Posts: 5,207 Senior Member
    ISI rates 15 PA schools. Of those:

    Gettysburg
    Grove City
    Lehigh
    Messiah
    St Vincent
    Villanova

    all get green. All would be fair game for my kids, but I'm sure they're not necessarily interested in all of them.

    Bryn Mawr
    Swarthmore
    Temple

    get red. These are not even considered in my family.

    Bucknell
    Carnegie Mellon
    Haverford
    Lafayette
    Penn State
    U Penn

    all get yellows. Yellows are worth reading about and visiting IMO. Middle son has some yellows on his list, though none of these specific schools.

    They rate some 200 schools. Click on this link:

    CollegeGuide.org - Browse

    Then click on a state to the right for specifics without having to go alphabetically.

    I wish they rated more schools, but what they have is useful for some of us looking to avoid the predominate far left. Actually, I know some parents that use it to FIND the predominate far left. To each their own. It's a useful "weed out" source IMO, then we go from there looking at other aspects of a school.
  • soomoosoomoo Registered User Posts: 443 Member
    ^I'm not sure I understand the point of this website. Check out Duke. It gets a red light and underneath the little quote says.."not named for David"

    So if it were named after David Duke it would have gotten a better rating????


    What exactly are they trying to measure here. It is a bit unclear.
  • confidential2015confidential2015 Registered User Posts: 1,396 Senior Member
    Try St. Anselm College in NH.
  • johannes1430johannes1430 Registered User Posts: 299 Junior Member
    Intellectual liberals are often very tolerant of people with opposing viewpoints. So going to a "liberal" college could just be a good chance to have lively debates. I would not though like to be a liberal going to a heavily conservative college... That would be rough!
  • tomofbostontomofboston Registered User Posts: 2,373 Senior Member
    Intellectual liberals are often very tolerant of people with opposing viewpoints. So going to a "liberal" college could just be a good chance to have lively debates. I would not though like to be a liberal going to a heavily conservative college... That would be rough!
    A very closed minded view in my opinion: liberals are accepting, conservatives are not. Liberals are therefore superior to conservatives and will listen to their views and tolerate them. How nice.
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