Would I be happy at Brown?

<p>I'm just a typical conservative Republican from the south, and I'm hoping to get admitted into Brown next year. I really like the idea of the open curriculum, but am worried about the liberalness of the university. Earlier this summer, I went there for a campus tour, and I remember that the girl who did our tour was completely enamored by a speech that Obama gave earlier in the school year. I'm vice president of the Young Republicans club at my school, and my family also always votes Republican in elections. I understand that Brown is consistently cited as the most liberal of the ivies, but how liberal exactly is Brown? Does Obama, for instance, come fairly often for speeches? Do other liberal democrat politicians come frequently? Would I be surrounded by a bunch of liberal students?</p>

<p>College students across America, even at conservative schools, were enamored with Obama before the election. College students, in general, tend to be liberal in their political approach. But there is a Republican club on campus at Brown as well as a libertarian magazine. People have written about this thread before if you search, but current students may speak to it, too.</p>

<p>how liberal exactly is Brown? </p>

<p>This question has been asked and debated many times on this forum. Like the majority of colleges in the Northeast, especially New England, Brown students are predominantly liberal. </p>

<p>Does Obama, for instance, come fairly often for speeches? </p>

<p>No. He's never come since being president, and I just searched and could only find one time he did come, back in 2006.</p>

<p>Do other liberal democrat politicians come frequently? </p>

<p>There is a wide variety of political views represented by speakers on campus. </p>

<p>Would I be surrounded by a bunch of liberal students?</p>

<p>Yes. But there are Brown students who consider themselves to be moderate Democrats, and Republicans. </p>

<p>If you compare Brown to the other highly selective schools in New England, it is not dramatically more liberal. If you eliminate Brown from your list for this reason, then you'd better eliminate just about every other school in New England and most colleges in the Northeast.</p>

<p>You might want to consider Hamilton College in Clinton, NY. It has an open curriculum, but is less liberal.</p>

<p>I'm registered a Republican. Personally, though, I'm at a point in my life where I really don't know what I know/what good policy necessarily is. I thrive on hearing arguments for positions that I never would have back home, with a family who pretty much only watches Fox News. </p>

<p>Will your family accuse you of "becoming liberal"? Likely, if you get into political discussions, and are willing to listen to others with an open mind. But really? Your core values aren't likely to change (I'm anti-abortion, and still pro-small-government), but it's great to be able to approach topics from a wider perspective. The only way you might struggle, socially, is if you're truly bigoted or completely close-minded, and actually get into political discussions (some students avoid those types of discussions).</p>

<p>Does Obama, for instance, come fairly often for speeches? </p>

<p>Yes...all the time.</p>

<p>Just kidding...I'm not a student, but I found that part of your question funny, just because if the president came to speak at any school, it wouldn't be on a 'regular' basis.</p>

<p>Speaking from another perspective...
I think that any school in the Northeast will be liberal - high schools/colleges there mostly are nowadays. But, like you said, Brown is liberal and open-minded, so I don't think you're going to get a lot of flak for it. It's a big school, and you'll definitely find other like-minded people. I'm sure Brown has a Young Republicans club (correct me if I'm wrong) and it's always good to have a group of people who 'agree' with you in the midst of others you may have friendly disagreements with. </p>

<p>But it's a good thing to take into account, and I'll let you know from personal experience that you may feel frustrated on some occasions if your values clash with those of many people in the school. It shouldn't drastically affect your HAPPINESS, but it can affect your views and how defensive/open you become. I think it's interesting to see what happens to people when they're in a group like that - if their views make a complete turnaround, or if they become even more grounded. Again, speaking from personal experience.</p>

<p>A few days ago I asked a friend who is a rising senior whether he had any friends with hardcore conservative beliefs. He said that despite being fairly liberal himself, he had a few good friends whose political leanings he generally opposed. That aside, he's met a fair number of people who are moderately to very conservative. Are they in the majority? No. Are they having a good time? Most likely; otherwise, they probably would have transferred out. I know from my own friends who are more conservatively-inclined that while it can be difficult not to be a Democrat (or what you will) in such an overwhelmingly liberal environment, it is entirely possible to experience Brown without feeling ostracized for your beliefs.</p>

<p>And I know few people who are so black and white that they will write off a view as conservative without even considering it. Some of my friends identify themselves as "very liberal" but enjoy discussing and debating with those who harbor opposing opinions. In general, you'll have some close-minded people, but you'll also have many more open-minded ones. Not all liberals are the same, especially at a school with a student body hailing from all over the world.</p>

<p>I have a number of moderate friends at Brown. They range from socially liberal but fiscally conservative to socially conservative but fiscally liberal. </p>

<p>No conservative friends, though there are groups on campus that appeal to students with conservative viewpoints. We even have a politically conservative journal, the Spectator.</p>

<p>I would love being a Republican in a liberal school like Brown. Why? It would expand my horizons. I would be almost forced to hear my liberal peer's arguments and ideals. The contrast in political ideas would also spark great debates...and I love debate.</p>