Too often we hear about the Left-wing bias on college campuses.
Here at Young America's Foundation, we call attention to this
bias so that campuses become more aware and hopefully then
work to create a more balanced atmosphere where non-leftist ideas
can be heard.
And while many schools certainly do not welcome different
viewpoints, some campuses, nevertheless, are more openly hostile
than others. Texas A&M, for example,
refused to help provide funding for Star Parker to
come onto campus, claiming that the nature of the event is too
"social and political" to be funded by the university.
The Conservative club at Texas A & M promptly
brought suit (December 2011), citing various instances where
the university had no problem providing funding for leftist "social
and political" events. Earlier this week, the university decided to
settle the case and agreed to pay $1000 to the club. By not
going forward in the lawsuit, the university inherently admitted
its wrongdoing and bias.
Not only do I applaud the campus organization for having the
courage to bring a lawsuit against their university, but I am also
optimistic that the incident highlights the fact that many college
campuses are hostile to non-leftist ideas. Furthermore, it points
to the alarming disregard for the freedom of thought and expression
that many campus administrators harbor when it comes to non-leftist
ideas. I'm not saying that campuses must vigorously seek to invite conservative speakers or host events (I'm against "affirmative action" when it comes to diversity of thought), but they should at
least practice fairness in allowing different thoughts to be heard
when there is student interest.
Actively preventing conservative speakers from coming onto
campus, while welcoming leftists, is more than an outright display
of bias. It is a blatant disregard for diversity of thought, and is
frankly unconstitutional discrimination. Higher education should be
a forum for an exchange of ideas and learning from other's
differences. Students should never feel afraid to express their
ideas, and administrators certainly should not work to hamper their
ability to do so.
Jiesi Zhao is a Foundation activist and a current law school
student at the University of Michigan.