I have experienced having a very politically biased history professor this semester.
It is clear that she identifies as liberal, and she tends to belittle every conservative political move we’ve studied.
It really bothers me when instructors teach like this. As an extrovert, I love to be a part of discussions, but I fear that I will be attacked in this class if I talk about political topics at all. It would be like an act of mutiny against the professor. That is how biased they are.
College is supposed to be a time of objectiveness, where students can be exposed to a variety of ideas without bias. It seems that this is not the case currently. I have seen a trend of an intolerance toward any and all conservative views among students and professors on campus.
So I created a questionnaire surveying political attitudes of college students.
Many of the participants attend KSU. A few others go to other surrounding Georgia universities such as UGA, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, and the like. I received 49 responses. I received most of the responses by sending links to the survey in a few of my class GroupMe's and also to my Odyssey community GroupMe.
Since having my current teacher (the one who is biased) I’ve noticed that I really don’t feel comfortable expressing any sort of political view in any of the classes I’m in. In her class, I would avoid it at all costs, and in most classes, I would just simply avoid it. I’ve noticed that students and professors take it very personally and many take even minor conservative views as an attack.
And they attack back. All the time I see/hear online or in person, people automatically calling republicans racist and outdated. They also refer to them as repressive, among other things.
My survey has confirmed that many other students have noticed this too.
Out of those surveyed, the percentage of participants that identified as conservative and as moderate were tied at 36.73%. The percentage that identified as liberal was 26.53%, so overall the group wasn’t heavily slanted. However, I would admit that since I have a lot of church friends, so it’s possible that by reaching more church goers I reached a couple more conservatives. They could still be liberal though.
On the second question of the survey, the majority of participants answered “agree” to the statement that students and professors take talk of politics personally (there were five options ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree). On the third question, the majority of participants answered that they have had one or two clearly politically biased professors (options were several, one or two, none, and not sure). The next leading answer was several. When being asked how their biased professor identified (or most of their biased professors), the participants had four options. The options were conservative, liberal, equal/a mixed bag, and then that they had not had a biased professor.
Out of those who had a biased professor, a very high 79% answered that their professor(s) had identified as liberal.
When asked if they felt comfortable sharing political views in the college classroom, the majority answered no. When asked if college students debate politics respectfully the majority answered no.
When asked if they would feel comfortable sharing their views in a college classroom as a liberal, the majority answered agree. When asked if they would feel comfortable sharing as a conservative, the majority answered disagree. (both questions had options ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree)
This is not okay.
Let people have their own views.
I’m not saying that offensive and horrible things like racism are okay and am justifying it because people can have their own views. Hate is never okay, but political party choice- that is okay. The Republican party is not intrinsically tied with racism (even though the media and many students act like it.)
Let people choose their party. People can be conservative and traditional if they want. Or they might not be traditional at all socially, they just might believe in conservative economics. They might be distrusting of the government. Let people have their stance without judging them.
Parties have stances on so many things, so something you are adamantly against might not even be something the other is even for. Let people live.
There are more conservatives on college campuses that you might think, and they are silent. They refuse to contribute any ideas that line up with conservatism in fear that they will be attacked. If they are white, I promise you they are fearful of being labeled as racist.
So where do we go from here? How can we have campuses that are accepting of a wide range of ideas? If you are liberal or conservative (or anything), you should voice your ideas.
But can we all try not to label or get angry at people when they do?