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Can political involvement hurt admissions chances?

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Replies to: Can political involvement hurt admissions chances?

  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 28,657 Senior Member
    Ucb, the goal is to put together a well functioning community. They want smart, accomplished, activated kids, a mix that can succeed and grow together, maybe stretch each other. In itself, that precludes extremists or a funnel too narrow.

    The valid concern isn't some particular hypothetical adcom.
  • marvin100marvin100 Registered User Posts: 9,646 Senior Member
    ucbalumnus wrote:
    For at least some schools, initial scoring of applications is done by holistic reading, rather than just by numbers.

    That's really interesting! Did you read about that somewhere? Got a link? Have to admit it's news to me, if true.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 38,208 Senior Member
    edited March 2017
    @TooOld4School : one of the biggest shifts in the past ten years is related to the new GOP stance toward science (making faith and science opposites, something Catholics had reconciled by papal edict in 1962, earlier for mainstream protestants; climate change denial; attacks on data; use of scientific facts as an easy punching ball) and the concomitant impossibility for scientists to support it. Until the 21st century, you could be a social and economic conservative and consider scientific data sacrosanct and not be heckled when you spoke about scientific facts at a conservative meeting. It can shift just as quickly if the GOP gets back to celebrating science as patriotic: Engineers and scientists aren't any more liberal, but they don't affiliate with official American conservatism anymore.
    I suppose many current conservatives would consider these scientists 'establishment' or 'swampy ' so I get there are different ways if looking at it.

    @fredrica : it'd actually help her if she founded a club and got it going with actual actions or positive impact. It couldn't just be a chat club where five kids autocongratulate themselves for not being libtards (and yes that term exists and is used with glee).
    Building a successful conservative club that is both respectful and productive would be a huge challenge in high school, especially for now. She'd have to have strict rules on heckling and a system for enforcement - she would likely encounter virulence from other students and her club would sink if they were able to book her as well as it would if her club members did the same to others. She would have to think of an experiential project that helps the school or the community and follows her conservative principles. If she could pull that off it's be very impressive and would definitely help her.
    The only exceptions would be if 'conservatism' is a euphemism for racism - such as the kid who spoke about his involvement in the KuKlux Klan, which he assimilated to 'conservative boyscouts'.
  • eiholieiholi Registered User Posts: 312 Member
    Is this old quote still relevant today, whatever 'republican' means? “If a man is not a republican at twenty, it is because he has no heart, and if he is one at forty, it is because he has no brains.”
  • profdad2021profdad2021 Registered User Posts: 468 Member
    I absolutely agree that your daughter's involvement with politics, regardless of whether she leans left or right, will help her in the college admissions process. There is LITTLE chance that it would hurt her. Frankly, it is insulting to assert that revealing that she is a conservative in that way would hurt her chances at liberal LACs. Colleges everywhere want diversity, measured in innumerable ways. Given the current environment, being conservative would help her even more because there is more concern about balance. And any involvement, particularly one in which she is involved in a leadership capacity, will help her.

    Keep this in mind - parents value diversity of opinion. My daughter is headed to Brown and given that we live in the midwest, our version of liberalism, including our language, is different than what it appears to be on the east coast! So my daughter will be learning different views to her left, and I would surely hope she will learn more views on her right as well. She takes very importantly the goal of being able to talk with everybody. If we can't talk with each other, we are doomed. Where best to do that than in college?

    I also think that it is unfair to point to recent events at Middlebury and the reactions to our beloved Milo and say...THAT reaction has become normalized. The universities involved have reacted well, speaking against intolerance. How they will handle future potential volatile situations is unclear - young people can be SO certain in their views. But the adults on campus will have to find a way to teach tolerance and deference, even if there can't be respect.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 71,057 Senior Member
    marvin100 wrote:
    That's really interesting! Did you read about that somewhere? Got a link? Have to admit it's news to me, if true.

    Example: http://academic-senate.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/committees/aepe/hout_report_0.pdf

    There have been other statements on these forums about highly selective private schools where initial reading includes subjectively graded criteria.
  • droppeditdroppedit Registered User Posts: 988 Member
    It couldn't just be a chat club where five kids autocongratulate themselves for not being libtards (and yes that term exists and is used with glee).
    Do you similarly warn posters asking about starting a leftist club about their language? Look up "repukes", "republic*nt", "republic*ntard", etc. on google. Even TV shows use those terms with glee.

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/07/hbo-beyond-the-pale.php
    http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389x6508066
    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=republitard

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 71,057 Senior Member
    But the adults on campus will have to find a way to teach tolerance and deference, even if there can't be respect.

    How can "adults" on campus teach tolerance, deference, and respect in politics, when "adults" generally, including prominent political figures and social media contacts, no longer practice such?
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 34,468 Senior Member
    I think she'd be better served by getting actively involved in local politics. Help with an upcoming referendum, cover school board meetings for the school paper, get involved with a campaign for the 2018 midterm, volunteer for the local party in whatever capacity they need. Colleges like doers.
  • roycroftmomroycroftmom Registered User Posts: 1,505 Senior Member
    Not worth the risk, IMO. I told my daughter to edit activities off her resume depending upon which college was considered. What colleges say they want and what they actually reward are two very different things in my experience.
  • romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes Registered User Posts: 33,689 Senior Member
    FWIW, I am a grad student at one of the supposedly most liberal Us in the country. I know for a fact many of the students in the course I teach are conservative. (It is a class where it is literally impossible for politics not to come in.)

    With that said, if you were to put that you were working with an organization that is known for radical, destructive politics (on either side), it could be held against you. That is of course assuming the people reading your file are even familiar with said organizations.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 34,468 Senior Member
    If you are out campaigning or working for the party, you can leave the specific cause or candidate off. You can say that you volunteers for x hours for a state ballot referendum, and these are the types of things you did. Or for a state house race, etc. Or worked to get a bill passed. Colleges don't care who the candidate is or what the cause was as much that they want to know that you engaged in your community to improve it.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 28,657 Senior Member
    edited March 2017
    Too much looking over one's shoulder here, certain Mr Man is out to squelch your voice.

    Why just found a cub of other young folks, each still trying to figure out their own ideas, when you could (also) be involved with some existing organization or cause, put some muscle in your efforts and learn from mature others?

    Look, hs kids rarely have fully formed political, philosophical, religious, or other beliefs. The applications aren't asking you to expound on what you (think you) believe today. But top colleges do want to see what sorts of actions you do pursue, your choices. Wanna be a doc? Go vol with health delivery, don't just start the "I wanna be a doc" club. Wanna be an engineer, do something math-sci. It's not just getting together with buds for an hour or two, when the afternoon bell rings, to talk. It's not just "passion," but the actions that ensue- and their quality.

    @ucbalumnus sometimes, I think maybe your perspective is theoretical, the what ifs. One can be firmly planted in a school of thought and still entertain discussion, value that. It's not all about pounding kids into identical forms. Not..at..all.

    However, it would be a mistake for a kid to use the app as a platform for extreme (or extremely certain) views. That's not what gets you an admit. It's not a debate competition. Showing them you are exploring and testing beliefs and open to growth is more valuable, can do more to show you as open to dialogue. And that's a value for top colleges- applicable to both conservatives and liberals, atheists and believers, etc.

    Try to look behind the more simplistic labels and stereotypes.
  • cobratcobrat Registered User Posts: 12,285 Senior Member
    edited March 2017
    Is this old quote still relevant today, whatever 'republican' means? “If a man is not a republican at twenty, it is because he has no heart, and if he is one at forty, it is because he has no brains.”

    @eiholi

    The saying I've heard is "If one is conservative at 20, it is because s/he has no heart, and if s/he's liberal at forty, it is because s/he has no brains"

    While there are some variations, none I've heard used US political party labels such as Democratic or Republican.

    I also don't necessarily find it true as I've known plenty of former HS classmates who were HS conservatives/extreme-right libertarians(including Ayn Randists) who have in their late 20s-early 40s became much more progressive.

    One example is a younger HS classmate who was an adamant young Republican/Randist in HS who maintained that affiliation through undergrad and law school.

    It was his experience with what he perceived as corrupt but legal actions by large corporations/employers at his former biglaw firm which caused him to go almost the polar opposite politically and switch to working the employee-side of employment law.

    Not worth the risk, IMO. I told my daughter to edit activities off her resume depending upon which college was considered. What colleges say they want and what they actually reward are two very different things in my experience.

    A couple of serious risks to this strategy:

    1. You risk leaving off activities which may actually push your D's application over the admission threshold. Especially at colleges like Oberlin where applying as a conservative can help.

    2. Leaving out the use of the rejections on basis of political leanings as a means to filter out colleges which are undesirable for the applicant. If a college rejects you on such a basis, would you want to attend? Should you?
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