Political Bias on College Campuses

Madison Popovic, Co-Managing Editor, Sophomore

Mark Twain once said, “An open mind leaves a chance for someone to drop a worthwhile thought into it.” With admission into a decent college as highly competitive as it is, students take many elements into consideration when trying to find which college is best suited for them. In discovering the perfect fit, some consider curriculum and majors offered; others consider location, location, location. However, given the current political climate, another consideration has come to the surface: does the campus have a political bias? Do some colleges lean too far in one political direction? Some students’ political beliefs are as important to them as their academic aspirations and they don’t want to live on a campus where their social, economic, and political views are belittled. The prominent beliefs of a college and its professors should not prevent one from receiving a quality education. Though it is important to both keep an open mind and challenge opposing opinions, it is also important to feel comfortable on the campus in which you will be living for the next four years.

Neil Gross, a journalist and professor at Colby College, discovered that the majority of professors do have one predominant political predilection. “Do liberals predominate on faculties? They do…[in] a national survey of professors’ politics…only 14% of professors in our survey identified as Republican,” Neil Gross stated in his article for the Los Angeles Times. But does a professor’s personal politics necessarily color the way he or she teaches a class? Neil Gross continued in his article for the Los Angeles Times, “As one engineering professor put it, ‘a chunk of metal doesn’t have politics.’” In other words, depending on which classes a student is planning to take, politics shouldn’t be a worrisome topic.

However, Gross argues that there is a need for an increased number of professors with conservative views in colleges so that there is a balanced approach to issues. “How can students be well educated when they only hear one side of the argument?” So, if one’s politics will affect their campus life, it is vital to find a campus where a balance of ideas is presented. This would increase the diversity of the college experience.

Kristi Hedges, a writer for Forbes Magazine, wrote, “Open-mindedness is equated with positivity and growth. It helps us take risks, find opportunities, understand others, and manage uncertainty.” Students go to college to learn new ideas and methods of thinking. What good would it be if every student attended a college that only reinforced what they already believed?

When someone is open-minded they can create a better environment and grow upon their education. People should never stop learning and therefore should not let opposing views dissuade them from receiving a quality education.