Nearly half of Dartmouth Dems don’t want conservative roommate
- Nearly half of self-identified Democratic students at Dartmouth College would be uncomfortable with a conservative roommate, according to a recent survey, while far fewer Republicans registered such compunctions.
- Of the 432 students who completed the survey, 63 percent identified as Democrats, compared to just 23 percent who called themselves Republicans.
- While 45 percent of Democrats said they would be uncomfortable sharing a room with someone who holds opposing political views, 69 percent of Republicans said they would be completely comfortable with that arrangement.
Nearly half of self-identified Democratic students at Dartmouth College would be uncomfortable with a conservative roommate, according to a recent survey, while far fewer Republicans registered such compunctions.
A survey conducted by The Dartmouth reviewed survey responses from 432 students answering four questions intended to discern the extent to which the Dartmouth community reflects contemporary political tensions.
Overall, 63 percent of respondents identified as Democrats, while 23 percent called themselves Republicans and the remaining 14 percent claimed political “independent” status.
Fully 85 percent of those students—including every single Democrat—registered disapproval of President Trump’s job performance, with 69 percent saying they “strongly disapprove.” Only 11 percent said they approve (five percent of them “strongly”) and four percent were neutral.
Seeking to determine the extent to which these opposing viewpoints exert influence over interpersonal relations, the paper next asked how comfortable each student would be having a roommate with “opposing political views.”
While the overall findings suggested that only about one-third of respondents would be averse to sharing a room with an ideological opponent, the data were heavily skewed by the Democratic students, among whom 45 percent expressed that sentiment..
In fact, while 61 percent of independents and 69 percent of Republicans said they would have no problem with a roommate who has opposing political views, only 39 percent of Democrats said the same.
The survey next asked whether students would support allowing various conservative speakers on campus, listing Richard Spencer, Milo Yiannopoulos, Charles Murray, Donald Trump, and Mitt Romney as options.
Buoyed by Republican and independent support for free speech, a majority of respondents agreed that each individual on the list should be allowed to speak, with the bare exception of Richard Spencer, whom only half said should be allowed.
The hostility toward speech came almost exclusively from the Democrats, the paper reports, noting that Yiannopoulos was the most-feared speaker among those respondents, 52 percent of whom said he should not be allowed on their campus.
The survey concludes by soliciting opinions about one particular recent event, asking, “Do you think the U.S. should or should not have responded to the recent chemical attack in Syria, and if so, how appropriate a response was the U.S. missile strike?”
Responses to this question revealed far more internal uncertainty, with a solid majority of all three groups saying a response was necessary. Among Democrats, however, 42 percent felt that Trump’s missile strike “went too far,” whereas 59 percent of Republicans deemed it the appropriate response.
“I believe these results are an accurate depiction of the Dartmouth campus;” Dartmouth College Republicans co-Vice President Charles Springer told Campus Reform. “In reality, I am sure the ‘strong support’ for President Trump is slightly higher than 5 percent, however it is certainly a small minority of the campus, far less than one would expect or hope for in a liberal arts environment.”
Apart from confirming the dominance of liberal thought on campus, Springer said he found the results “alarming” because they suggest that a large number of those students are unwilling even to entertain opposing viewpoints.
“The majority of the Democratic activists on campus seem to be very unopened and unwilling to hearing other viewpoints or sides; they are much less willing to tolerate the equal representation of adversaries in the public eye than I believe they should be,” he remarked. “A liberal arts education is supposed to be all about exposing people to new ways of thinking and seeing every aspect of life, and yet so many people who attend these elite institutions have absolutely no regard for anyone who disagrees with them.”
The reason for this phenomenon, he speculated, is that too many of today’s college students take their constitutional freedoms for granted.
“There exists a significant segment of the population here that does not believe in freedom of speech, as they have never experienced life in a country that does not have such a luxury, and they live in a fairy-tale land,” he asserted. “They operate under the false belief that they know what is right and what is best for other people and the world.”
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