Politics at WashU

I am a recently accepted student at WashU and I am beginning to create criteria on which school I will be attending. I am right of center, and I am asking any current or past students on here about the discussion and representation at WashU. I do not want to go to a school, like Berkley, that i will be attacked for having even the slightest notion on conservatism. I want to go to these schools because i want to be challenged on my beliefs, so i want their to be a lot of discussion that doesnt lead to violence. Is the school extremely liberal? Are conservatives discriminated against? Are political conversations more discussion based or just screaming?

Missouri is a conservative state although St. Louis leans a little towards the left from the rest of the state, especially around the Ozarks.

I wouldn’t worry one way or the other about politics. As long as you aren’t in your face concerning your political views, there shouldn’t be any issues. My son is a freshman and knows people from both sides of the political spectrum at school.

I would agree about Berk(e)ley. We’re from California and my son wouldn’t attend if he were admitted-he didn’t like the city in general. Of course not everybody from California is like what you see in Berkeley, even in the relatively liberal Bay Area.

Am curious about same. Since WashU is often host of Presidential or Vice Presidential debates each year, it’s obviously an “engaged” campus. And, let’s face it, most institutions of higher learning are extremely liberal these days. Question is weather or not Professors at WashU are open to hearing other viewpoints or do they extol their ideology with bias against students who may have differing (or still forming) views. Any current WashU students available to chime in?

OP: you may want to review the magazine published by students, Washington University Political Review: https://issuu.com/wupr

I’ve told catchastar this, but I come from a conservative family, and I myself am more libertarian. I have not felt threatened at all for my political beliefs. I would say generally the organizations on campus lean toward liberal/progressive, but I have never been attacked for my non-ultra progressive beliefs or upbringing. If you are able to support why you believe what you believe, you should be fine. People respect informed opinions, regardless of if they match their own. In fact, in my business class, we often have fiscal-political debates and open discussions, and there are staunch Republicans to Democrats to socialists to everywhere in between. Every point is considered and acknowledged, given that it follows some logical basis (most do). All this said, I’m not a particularly outspoken person when it comes to politics; I’ll engage in class discussion or I’ll talk to my roommate a lot about current issues, but I don’t walk into the common room looking for a political debate.

Our STEM student is in a great Modern Political Thought class – and characterizes the debates as spirited but civil. Loves the class although Student tends more liberal and thus in the minority in the class. Per Catchastar – Student had a great internship during the 2016 Presidential debates on campus that was parlayed into an follow-on paid gig in DC during the Inauguration. Professors are definitely open and encourage thoughtful engagement.

Well right now on campus people are super sensitive about topics like guns because of recent incidents. I think they have every right, but sometimes it gets too sensitive. I think we were scheduled to have a paintball gun fight a few days ago but that got cancelled due to high resentment.


There are plenty of people you can easily find that share the same ideals as you and can sympathize with your causes too.

William Danforth, who was the school’s chancellor from 1971 to 1995, is the brother of former Sen. John Danforth. Danforth is the guy who got Clarence Thomas onto the Supreme Court.

That’s also where Phyllis Schlafly got her bachelor’s degree.

So, certainly, there are many liberals and moderates there. But the school also has a strong conservative tradition.

Phyllis Schlafly could be considered a double alumna, since he got her law degree at WashU as well. And Missouri is solidly conservative as is the case for most Midwest states.

WashU is generally pretty tolerant of most views. From what my son says, he hasn’t seen extremes on either side.

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