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Can political involvement hurt admissions chances?


Replies to: Can political involvement hurt admissions chances?

  • Emsmom1Emsmom1 Registered User Posts: 1,011 Senior Member
    My own opinion (and I'll admit, I haven't read the whole thread) is that yes, showing conservative leanings may have negative repercussions with ad coms. I could be wrong (and I hope I'm wrong) but I don't think I am-although I'll concede most people don't think they are wrong. I would be cautious.
  • Emsmom1Emsmom1 Registered User Posts: 1,011 Senior Member
    And, of course, it depends on the school to which one applies.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 71,657 Senior Member
    Can anyone be completely confident that an employee will always follow employer policy with respect to such things as political neutrality when employees in many other situations go against employer policies for their own possibly political reasons? Example: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/03/19/a-california-waiter-refused-to-serve-4-latina-women-until-he-saw-proof-of-residency/ (and not just waiters, but other types of employees like police officers). Are admissions readers at colleges somehow "better" than others at keeping their own political opinions out of their work?
  • roethlisburgerroethlisburger Registered User Posts: 2,266 Senior Member
    According to a poll, http://www.browndailyherald.com/2016/10/17/clinton-receives-85-percent-student-support-trumps-1-8/, Trump and Gary Johnson combined received support from a little more than 4% of eligible voters among Brown undergrads. Zinhead already posted the data for Harvard. Maybe, conservatives don't like to respond to polls or maybe students become more liberal after attending an Ivy, but the data suggests conservatives are a very small minority on Ivy campuses. Perhaps, there's some selection bias. Still, showing a small number of conservatives got admitted doesn't answer whether that aspect of their app was helpful, hurtful, or neutral in how their app was scored.
  • a20171a20171 Registered User Posts: 1,177 Senior Member
    edited March 2017
    I mean I feel it would be kind of ridiculous not to participate or write about things that interest you or that you feel strongly about because adcoms might disagree with you. If the readers of the school are so intolerant of your views that they literally don't want you at their school because of them maybe it's not a school you want to be at..definitely not a school I'd want to be at
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 71,657 Senior Member
    edited March 2017
    Re: #80

    It may be luck of the draw as to whether your application is read by a reader following school policy of political neutrality, or one who covertly or even unconsciously applies his/her political opinions against your political opinions that may show, in violation of school policy. Perhaps the former are in the majority, but it is not guaranteed that the latter makes up 0% of admissions readers.
  • a20171a20171 Registered User Posts: 1,177 Senior Member
    edited March 2017
    @ucbalumnus but is that really a valid reason not to express your political views in anyway if you're passionate and educated about them? I guess it's a question for everyone to answer for themselves including the OP, but for me personally it's not.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 71,657 Senior Member
    Basically, it is your decision, but you should realize that there is some risk involved. If you are willing to take that risk (particularly if your application would be significantly weaker without mentioning it), then go right ahead.
  • a20171a20171 Registered User Posts: 1,177 Senior Member
    Maybe it was easier for me because I applied to a lot of catholic schools so they weren't extremely liberal and had less of that risk involved
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 29,428 Senior Member
    edited March 2017
    Personal preferences and opinions can be tempered, when reviewing on behalf of the college. Same as when any employer states politics and aspects of personal preference or identity are not to intrude on business dealings. The waiter was fired. For all we know, his intent was to hit on the girls. (I haven't seen any explanation.) Let's see more before assuming adcoms for a top school equate to this waiter. C'mon.

    The question was, will this girl's involvement affect admissions. Many of us say no. That isn't contradicted by the number of conservatives who choose to matriculate or not. A few posters suggested GOP involvement, before YAF. They made sense. Any college looking to build a community of mutually engaged kids may be leery of any extreme position, of any sort, liberal or conservative, (and yup, kids do state some unusual things that yield some SMH.)

  • marvin100marvin100 Registered User Posts: 9,650 Senior Member
    @ucbalumnus - you're comparing adcoms to waiters, now?
  • akiddocakiddoc Registered User Posts: 139 Junior Member
    I posed this question to a friend who is on the admissions committee at one of the very top - and I mean very top - schools in the country. If by conservative, one means conservative in a traditional republican sense, he would love to have more students he could admit, and who would matriculate. If conservative is construed as meaning intolerant, which certainly shouldn't be the broad brush that is applied to people who back more conservative views, than it is a problem. He says they want students with a broad range of views and beliefs. They just don't want to bring someone onto campus who is hateful, whether conservative or liberal.

    I am a very liberal Californian, and my dormitory neighbor at that same college discussed above was a conservative Texan. We had political arguments and discussions for years, and we were both the better for it.
  • roycroftmomroycroftmom Registered User Posts: 1,610 Senior Member
    yes, I'm quite certain adcoms will say such a thing. whether they actually act that way is debated, but I'm sure they understand they are supposed to say that they have no such political biases entering the admission process. So we are left with judging the result-either there is massive self-selection going on such that enormous numbers of conservatives don't apply or attend, for example, Ivies, despite the outstanding financial aid, connections, and prestige of many programs in those schools, or perhaps something else is occurring. I do wonder, if any other group had such small representation on elite college campuses,would administrators thrown up their hands and say "not our fault"? If there were no left-handed people at Harvard, would Harvard not care, or undertake a campaign to investigate why and encourage applications?
  • LindagafLindagaf Registered User Posts: 8,266 Senior Member
    I haven't read the whole thread. If she wants to start a club, she should. Whatever she calls it should be pretty generic, IMO. Any name like Freedom Club, or MAGA club,,etc...is to be avoided. Just call it the Student Republicans club, or similar. There are plenty of conservatives at selective colleges, they aren't going to hold it against her.

    I am not wild about the premise of this thread. It implies that conservatives are bing "persecuted" for their beliefs, and that they should go underground. More conservatives need to be upfront about their values. I am a raving loony liberal, but I dislike this notion that higher education is the preserve of the left. Conservatives should be staking their claims publicly in higher education. They should be encouraging other conservatives to pursue higher education. Especially right now, when it seems that being educated and using knowledge is under attack.
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