Between the United States presidential election and a world pandemic, the political climate in 2020 has been very heated. However, college campuses are at a whole new level. Being a conservative student at American University, one of the most politically active campuses in the country, I have had to deal with some absurd situations to say the least.
Though I may not agree with my Leftist peers, I am proud to watch them practice their First Amendment rights through attending events and protests. I find it important for young people to get involved in politics as it is their civic duty to do so. Unfortunately, I, as a young female conservative, am not awarded the same courtesy.
Whether I attended CPAC or the #WalkAway Campaign Unsilent Majority March on Washington, many of my peers are quick to send me angry or passive aggressive messages on social media about attending these conservative events, making me feel guilty for expressing myself. My freshman-year roommate even moved out because I hung up a “Make America Great Again” hat near my bed.
I have found the American University student body to be particularly polarizing compared to many other colleges across America. Some colleges have sports, others have music, but American University has politics. At American, the students have to be bribed with free food or swag to attend the sports games, but when there is a political speaker coming to campus, tickets are sold out almost immediately. Networking is more important than water and if your LinkedIn profile isn’t updated with your most recent Congressional internship, you must be slacking. This is a campus where identity-politics and groupthink are commended. As an independent thinker, I find this absolutely appalling.
I don’t write this to paint myself as a victim. Rather, I write this to draw awareness to the indoctrination and political-discrimination millions of college students face across our country. I’m lucky enough to say that American University isn’t the worst of it, as other conservative students across the country are sometimes physically attacked and even have their materials and property destroyed.
The main reason this keeps happening at schools across America is because we let it happen. We stay quiet. As young conservatives we allow ourselves to be pushed around by those who claim to be “woke”. We need to breathe new life into bipartisanship and respectful open dialogue before it’s too late.
This piece was written by Briana McCoy, Vice President of Communications for NeW at American University.