Whitman - how liberal?

I was very interested in Whitman until I learned about its liberal political reputation. Being a relatively conservative student, I am worried that it is not the place for me.

To what extent is Whitman liberal? Are there a good mix of conservatives on campus? Can different political opinions be freely discussed?


It is pretty liberal, however ,Whitties are usually nice so I don’t think you would be an outcast, but you will probably be outnumbered. If you can, try to visit, you may love it anyway.

@bopambo - Thanks, that is helpful. I will definitely try to visit.

i mean, walla walla leans more conservative, but whitman—along with most liberal arts colleges—will lean more liberal. to what extent, though, I’m not sure.

schools known for their political diversity/moderate-to-conservative student bodies:
claremont mckenna, washington and lee, trinity college (ct), sewanee, union (ny), bucknell, richmond, denison, wabash (if you’re a man), wheaton, + maybe rhodes, centre, and davidson. all are fantastic schools.

schools at which i definitely do not think you’d be happy: reed, oberlin, grinnell, basically all of the women’s colleges (if you’re a woman), macalester, and vassar. all are fantastic as well, but all are exceptionally liberal, and a conservative student would struggle.

if your brand of conservatism focuses on issues like believing the u.s. should increase spending on the military rather than on issues like believing same-sex marriage is wrong, then your choice of schools widens. if your brand of conservatism focuses on believing both of those things, well… the latter is a minority opinion in general (https://news.gallup.com/poll/311672/support-sex-marriage-matches-record-high.aspx), especially among young people, so you’d be out of luck at most schools.

@kalons - Thanks so much for all the examples.

no problem. if you’re someone who is staunchly conservative, hillsdale college is also an option, but it is much more conservative than all the others i listed.

i would break it up like this:

— schools that are right: hillsdale, wheaton, wabash, and hampden-sydney (newly added for if you are male)
— schools that are neither right nor right of center (aka in the middle of the two): trinity
— schools that are right of center: sewanee, union, bucknell, washington and lee, and richmond
— schools that are pretty evenly split: claremont mckenna, davidson, rhodes, centre, and denison