Being Conservative At Grinnell

<p>Hello everyone. I have just discovered Grinnell and it seems to be a first rate school. However, I am a Young Conservative and have even started a Young Republicans club at my school. My question is directed to current students or people who know a lot about Grinnell: Can you be at Grinnell, have fun, be socially accepted, and still be conservative?</p>

<p>I understand Grinnell is generally ultra-liberal, and I was wondering if the community is as accepting as conservatives as it is of people of different sexual orientations, cultures, and races. Thank you.</p>

<p>My son is liberal, but he likes to hear all sides of an argument. He will attend Grinnell in the fall. When he visited, he made the point of asking how different political viewpoints were accepted, and he felt satisfied with the answers. I was with him when he spoke to the student in charge of the Democratic party, and she said that she and her Republican counterpart were working on creating dialogue on campus.</p>

<p>this isn't about politics, but about a sense of community and listening to other people's ideas. These "ins and outs" are really wonderful to read and make me very excited for my son's future!
Community</a> - Admission | Grinnell College</p>

<p>Hey, I found this for you!
Coming</a> Out as a Republican - Admission | Grinnell College</p>

<p>there are some stories about involvement with the caucuses written by people who observed and / or participated in the Democratic caucuses. (you can go through the various archives to find them!) They all talk about the sense of community and engagement with the town that sounded very cool! I would think that in the next presidential election, it might be pretty interesting to participate in the Republican caucuses!</p>

<p>I give Nikolai kudos for guts, but there is an alternative view. It's not all about being exposed to different points of view. I think it's wrong to assume that all liberals think alike and march in lock step. It's also about fit. College is a huge financial investment, and why would anyone want to subject themselves to four years and a significant financial cost to a place where they don't fit in? My D is very liberal and would not even think of enrolling at say Washington and Lee University, an elite but predominantely conservative southern LAC. She wouldn't go to W&L if they offered her a free ride. Money is one thing; misery is another.</p>

<p>Nikolai, are you thinking that all the top LACs are liberal, and that there is no alternative in the LAC space? That isn't the case. Conservatives abound at LACs like Washington and Lee and even Davidson. All I'm saying is, at those schools you will likely find a much higher percentage of like-minded young people (Young Conservatives) than in the student body at Grinnell, or LACs even more liberal than Grinnell, like Oberlin or Reed. Ultra right-wing conservative pundit Michelle Malkin's four years at Oberlin must've been a living hell for her, especially the way she talks about her alma mater as a place filled with left-wing crazies. Grinnell may not be quite as liberal as Oberlin (I'm guessing here, maybe its more liberal) but why go through that hell? I mean, I shudder to think what it's like for a genuine liberal on an overhwelmingly politically conservative campus, especially a small school like an LAC, but I've heard horror stories.</p>

<p>I'm more in agreement with Plainsman on this. Who wants to be <em>tolerated</em>? Most of us want to fit in and feel comfortable, especially during our precious college years. My son avoided conservative campuses like the plague and I'm glad he did. He thinks most Democrats are conservative so that shows you where he's at and he's very comfortable at Grinnell. It's not just about politics either. Grinnellians tend to be unconventional thinkers who like being around other unconventional thinkers. It's an excellent, wonderful school with amazing academics and resources, so by all means check it out, but I'm betting you could find a better fit somewhere else. The guide book "Finding the Right College" might be helpful to you. The writers take a very conservative approach to the colleges they review and it could help you avoid an unfortunate fit. Having a happy social life at college can be as important as the academics.</p>

<p>That said, it is good to have opposing viewpoints being aired, especially on a college campus. I'm just not sure I'd want to be the one airing them.</p>

<p>Take a serious look at Davidson in North Carolina--like Grinnell this LAC is "home" to serious academic students. Similarly, it is located is a small town setting (albeit only about 20 miles north of Charlotte, the NC's largest city). While located in the South, the college is far more national in character than regional; nor is it stereotypically "preppy" as are many Southern LACs. It was a school to which everyone expected my daughter (a soon to be Grinnell freshman) to apply. However, it would have been a bad fit as much too politically conservative for her tastes. Having been so lucky re a last minute switch in choice of boarding high schools, our family well understands the importance of "fit". Good luck and if nothing else take time to visit the "Great State of North Carolina (a more "red" than "blue" state)--and while you're at it travel east to check out UNC-Chapel Hill which currently has a fairly balanced political community.</p>

<p>Strongly agree with the Davidson recommendation as a potentially better fit.</p>

<p>You might get a better sense of the culture from an interesting dialogue about Grinnell on another thread right now:<br>
<a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/transfer-students/968704-where-can-i-transfer-these-stats-should-i-transfer.html?%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/transfer-students/968704-where-can-i-transfer-these-stats-should-i-transfer.html?&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>I am a 2003 graduate of Grinnell College, and when I attended school one of my good friends was head of the Grinnell College Young Republican group (not sure of the group's name). He was always involved not only in political issues, but also sports (football, baseball), and was a very much respected guy who nobody really chastised for being Conservative.</p>

<p>It seemed to me that the overwhelming majority of students were open to listen to others' viewpoints, and I knew of several professors that I had that obviously had Conservative viewpoints as well.</p>

<p>Hope this help!</p>

<p>I actually have a slightly different take than the last posters. In my limited observations I don't think students are all that politically active. They are generally socially quite liberal - even at conservative schools but it doesn't sound like that is your concern. My son is a politically conservative at a college known for it's liberal bias but I don't think he's run into any issues there since the culture is very much "live and let live." And most of his friends aren't that interested in political issues.</p>

<h1>1 There are conservatives on campus. They're outnumbered, but there are more than you might expect.</h1>

<h1>2 Most of the students won't care so long as you're not in their face with your beliefs. Grinnell is pretty laid back most of the time (though election time next year might be different).</h1>

<h1>3 There's a big difference between being fiscally conservative and being socially conservative. The latter is the one that will probably irk most Grinnell students.</h1>