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kingnolliekingnollie Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
edited September 2012 in Macalester College
I am a high school senior considering Macalester. I am conservative, but not overly. I have heard that Macalester is liberal but I wanted to gauge exactly how liberal and if a conservative could fit in.
Post edited by kingnollie on

Replies to: Politics

  • vgoh07vgoh07 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member

    My son is a sophomore at Macalester and we are a conservative Christian family. Macalester is an outstanding college and you will be challenged academically and be well educated. The college emphasizes a global perspective and a high percentage of the students come from foreign countries; thus,the environment reflects society in general. Neither does the school nor the students impose their values on you; so, if you possess strong conservative values, you may choose to grow along the conservative pathway and have the options to explore beyond the comfort of your boundaries. I suggest that you take the important step of emailing or calling the Professors of the departments you are interested in, and learn first hand what they have to offer you. Good luck in your college search.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 35,252 Senior Member
    Interesting that this thread has only drawn one post, where your same question on the Carleton thread has drawn many more responses. One would think from looking at the two threads that Carleton is the more liberal of the two. As someone who lives in the area (and has kids applying to both), I think that really is not the case. Mac has a reputation as a more liberal school (although both are on the left end of the spectrum, as are most LACs north of the Mason-Dixon line).

    I really can't understand the previous poster's suggestion that you email and talk with profs in the departments you are interested in. For example, if you want to study math, how is emailing with a prof going to help you judge whether your version of conservatism will fly on that campus? Really, visiting campus and doing an overnight might be the best thing.

    If you are a very outspoken conservative, you are honestly going to run into some headwinds at many LACs. If that is comfortable for you, then fine. If not, have you considered LACs where you may find more of the student body leans conservative? A few I can think of are Rhodes, Claremont McKenna, and Davidson. An LAC-like college that seems to have a more conservative slant is St. Mary's College of Maryland (public honors college for Maryland).
  • vgoh07vgoh07 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    You are completely wrong about running into "strong headwinds" at Liberal Arts Colleges. I know lots of very conservative Christians with children in liberal arts colleges, including the Carleton College you mentioned, and nobody is running into the kind of "headwinds" you are referring to. People who consider themselves liberals and act like liberals are merely being true to their beliefs; so, if you think you are a conservative and are true to your beliefs, why are you so concerned. People everywhere express their opinions, it does not matter which college you attend, and you do not have to accept them. Regardless of who these students claim to be, they attend these wonderful liberal arts colleges because they want to be well educated. So, if a person is truly curious about a specific college, it just makes sense for him or her to contact the relevant professors at the college to get a better insight, rather than listening to people who have never been there and do not know what they are talking about.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 35,252 Senior Member
    Why would you think that posters out here "have never been there and do not know what they are talking about"? Obviously the answer to this question does depend on how the original poster carries themselves and whether they treat others with respect. A conservative who is openly critical of classmates in same-sex relationships, for example, is going to have a hard time at any of the schools this poster is asking about. If the OP is a vocal climate-change denier, they are probably going to end up in a lot of arguments. These are common conservative positions these days, and will not be well received at a school like Macalester by students (or honestly by professors). Christian beliefs themselves are not going to cause an issue (although, for example, proselytizing to roommates won't go over too well).

    Again, you spend a LOT more time at the college with fellow students than with your professors (even at a liberal arts college). In some humanities classes these topics come up, and I assume that a well defended (by facts) conservative position is treated with respect by profs and students, but I can guarantee you that no biology professor at Mac (or most other liberal arts college) is going to say, "sure, bring Creationism into the bio classroom discussions ever time we talk about evolution in some way, we will give it equal weight and respect with evolution."

    One question the OP might ask about at a college to answer his question is the size of the College Republican's group on campus vs. the College Democrats. On my D1's liberal arts college campus, there were 200 members of College Dems. There were 4 members of College Republicans. The admissions office would not be able to answer this, but they could put him in touch with someone from the College Republican's organization who could help with this. It would give him some statistical evidence vs. anecdotal.
  • thatsallthatsall Registered User Posts: 93 Junior Member
    I think the OP has received a lot of good advice here. Outwardly, Mac students do seem liberal, but there is diversity in all things on campus. Students there like a good debate. So if students are willing to intelligently defend their positions,they should do just fine. That said, the only way to find out if it would be a comfortable environment for a particular student is for that student to spend some time there.
This discussion has been closed.