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  • Classroom Ambush

    11/1/2012 12:22:48 PM Posted by Patrick Coyle

    By Stephen Smoot Marshall University

    Yesterday, we published a blog detailing a Clemson University study on classroom interaction.  The study, conducted by Darren Linvill and Joseph Mazer, asserted that college students perceive bias because they lack the skills to effectively debate ideas in class.  What if, however, conservative students find themselves in a debate that is stacked against them? 

    Read what happened to Alle Richardson's conservative group at Marshall University.  Then judge for yourself.

    I had been invited by a professor to talk to her First Year Seminar class about [my conservative club] since their theme for the year was the election. I said that I would be available and she told me that she was also inviting representatives from the other groups and that we would present our platform and then the students in the class would ask questions. 

    I asked Chris Calton, one of our members who's extremely knowledgeable, to come with me to help answer student questions because he always has the facts for any argument. When we got there, we found out that it wasn't a Q&A from the students at all, but a debate the professor had set up with a few questions from students afterwards. The professor acted as the moderator. Throughout the debate the professor repeatedly interrupted us (Chris and myself), corrected us by telling us that what we were saying was false, and interjected counter-arguments. With representatives from the other groups (including the leader of the Students for Appalachian Socialism) she was very supportive and even offered supportive points when the Socialist representative was unsure of what to say.

    Marshall conservatives are very familiar with the Students for Appalachian Socialism.  Many suspect this small, but aggressive group, are responsible for vandalizing the posters of conservative groups on campus.  

    The Students for Appalachian Socialism openly despise the American free market system without hiding behind euphemisms like "progressive."  On their website, they attack those who have produced and earned wealth; "He (I guess they assume that women cannot become wealthy) doesn't contribute anything productive except for money which itself is a complete fabrication based purely on the burden of debt."  Although they do bash Solyndra style cronyism, they falsely blame everyone but the hardcore leftists who actually make these deals.  The Students for Appalachian Socialism do not seem to understand what libertarians or conservatives actually believe when it comes to economics. 

    Alle Richardson went on to relate that:

    During the question and answer portion the professor prodded the students to ask questions specifically calling out certain students by name and asking them why they didn't have any questions. All of the questions that were asked were directed at Chris and myself. After the debate, she approached the Socialist leader and invited him to join her sociology club because it seemed like their ideals lined up well. When we left the building, a member of the class approached Chris and told him that the students the professor had called out by name were students that had previously expressed conservative viewpoints in class and that the professor had viciously attacked them. She said that everyone had "learned their lesson" about saying anything that could be construed as conservative and the class was too afraid to speak up on our behalf during the Q&A. Also, this is just speculation, but it seemed that we were the only group who did not know about the debate format.

    What message does this send about honest debate in the classroom under this professor at this university?  

    Conservatives are alienated, marginalized, and treated dishonestly.  Socialists get invited to the professor's club.  One may ask if the sociology club might not benefit from more diverse points of view than just those that "lined up well" with the professor.

    It is most amazing that, judging from the Students for Appalachian Socialism website, they have never really understood the ideologies they claim to oppose.  Yet the left-wing professor claims that their world views are similar.  Scary.

    Marshall University campus conservatives remain unbowed.  Several of them attended the Young America's Foundation conference in Columbus last month where they were able to hear similar horror stories from other campuses and hear some of the top conservative minds in the country discuss ideas on how to save the country.  They have not given up the fight, not by a long shot.

    Stephen Smoot is the Director of Academic Programs for the National Journalism Center

    • Readers' Comments

    • Great article, and very sad this is happening still. I remember this happening to me while I was in college. It is funny how universities were supposed to foster an environment of free thinking, and now it is about being brain washed and regurgitating everything the professor tells you. On a side note, I found this guy on Facebook. Apparently he is running for President in the year 2032, but also has some amazing videos on YouTube! Just by looking at these videos and his page, I can only imagine the ass kicking he gave those socialists in the debate!!! YouTube "Chris Calton 2032" and you will see his videos! Great stuff, he has my vote!
      Posted by SgtCheeseNOLS on 11/01/2012
    • This indoctrination of students to Marxist Socialist Ideals is a nationwide epidemic. I filed a Title IX civil rights complaint against my school and the instructor. Both dismissed by Nobamas bigoted attorney general Eric holder: http://mstrrick.wordpress.com/2011/07/31/indoctrination-in-college-texts/
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