College Survey: Conservatives and Minorities Face Same Level of ‘Unfair Treatment’

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by Anita Carey  •  •  February 8, 2018   

University of Massachusetts Amherst report ignores bias against conservatives

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AMHERST, Mass. ( - A survey is showing conservatives feel disconnected from their college, while university officials focus on the LGBT students. 

The University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMA) conducted a "Campus Climate Survey" in 2016 to find out how to create a climate that is "inclusive for all." 

They surveyed undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty and staff for their "experiences with unfair treatment," their view of classroom climate and "sense of belonging." Students' and faculties' views of the overall feel of the campus and "commitment to inclusion" were also measured. 

Despite a larger percentage of conservative students than minorities reporting that they have been the butt of jokes and negative remarks from instructors, the UMA report ignores the bias against conservatives, solely focusing on women, minorities and LGBT students.  

The UMA report conclusions also ignored any mention of people on active military duty and veterans who also reported negative treatment. 

The UMA officials' response shows the trend across the nation where conservative college students are being discriminated against. 

Conservatives are fighting back. Last week, Southern Illinois University paid a $10,000 settlement for attorney's fees to the College Republicans after they enlisted help from the Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). The suit alleged the university is limiting students' First Amendment rights by restricting the "Speech Zone" to one small area of the campus.  

The College Republicans also alleged that the university blocked the students' activities. In September 2017 during an event, College Republican members were approached by campus police claiming they had received calls about a beach ball scaring students. Officers also claimed the College Republicans were supposed to have signed up to "demonstrate." 

Campus police can be heard in the video saying, "This is not considered a public place." Southern Illinois University (SIUE) stated they only settled the lawsuit to avoid more costly litigation insisting, "SIUE did not agree to pay damages because there were none."

The UMA report noted that "some social identity groups report lower levels of belonging and often report higher levels of negative treatment." The report even recognizes the percentages of conservative students were among the highest reporting "unfair treatment" and being "silenced in the classroom" sometimes or often grouping them with minorities and "trans or gender-queer" students.  

However, the "areas of concern" UMA officials most detailed in their report focused on the experiences of minorities and LGBT students, saying, "Trans and gender-queer students, as well as students with disabilities, report the most negative classroom environments." 

The experiences of veterans, conservatives and those with disabilities were not included in the "areas of concern."

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