Modern college campuses can be a tough place to be for conservatives. Many are liberal and that may be reflected in their administrators, instructors, and students. As a result, challenging conservative beliefs and values is common place in many classes and campuses.
In such environments, conservative students become easy targets for ridicule. They face harassment which makes campus life a draining and frustrating experience, particularly for unprepared freshmen. Yet it is possible for conservatives to not only survive in liberal schools, but to thrive as well. They can even make a difference. Here are five tips on how they can do so.
1) Speaking Up
Conservative students are usually tempted to remain quiet when confronted by a liberal professor in class. They regard challenging a biased opinion from their superior as an act of disrespect. What they should do instead is voice their opinions respectfully, and with statements to support those opinions.
As they do, they should keep a few things in mind. First, some liberals love making conservatives look foolish if they believe those conservatives are making up statements without citing legitimate sources to evidence their statements. Professors who engage in that way do so by putting a conservative on the spot on issues he or she has little knowledge about but has expressed an opinion on. It is important, therefore, for a student to keep up with current affairs from unbiased sources and know what he or she is talking about – as all students should.
Second, students should always remain calm and keep their voices down during heated debates. They look sophisticated this way and will better articulate their side of the argument. Third, they should take no offense from or personalize attacks against them. Their opponents have an equal right to voice their opinions too.
Lastly, if a professor resorts to picking on students who speak up, they should take up the matter with their department head or Dean of Students.
2) Joining Conservative Organizations and Student Government Associations
It is easy for conservatives in a liberal college to feel isolated. They can get around this by joining conservative organizations such as College Republicans and Young America’s Foundation. Such groups provide students with a support base of like minds.
Conservatives can also join the Student Government Association (SGA) at their college. They can then use their position in the SGA to influence college policies. The experience they gain can also be a launching pad for a future career in politics or government.
3) Taking the Conservative Agenda Online
Thousands of young conservatives support the conservative agenda as well as each other on blogs and social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Here, they discuss their views on current affairs or on the struggles they face in liberal school. However, conservatives who voice their opinion on social media are often trolled by their liberal counterparts during the election season.
4) Picketing and Wearing Conservative Pins and Stickers
Picketing is a democratic right which conservative students can exercise if their opinion on important college issues is not heard. This is so long as it is done respectfully and without profanity or insults. Protests should also follow the college administrations rules on picketing. To spark off a discussion with liberals, a conservative can also wear conservative t-shirts or pins to class or around campus.
5) Pursuing an Online Education
To avoid the hassles of attending a liberal college, some conservatives opt for online courses instead. And since many conservatives seem to be politically inclined, an online degree in political science is natural choice. Lucky for them, there are many institutions such as George Washington University’s School of Political Management which offer online courses that can be of interest to politically-minded conservatives.
Conservatives can still make a difference in a liberal college if they stay true to their values. This means voicing their opinions, joining conservative organizations, picketing, and pushing their agenda online. They can also pursue an online course if enrolling in a liberal college is not their thing.