Jeff Emanuel

“Academic freedom” has been a growing buzzword in recent years for conservatives paying attention to the goings-on at America’s college campuses. The leftist tendencies inherent in academia are, of course, not a new development, though they have been better-documented of late by conservative writers, such as UNC-Wilmington professor Mike Adams, and activists, like David Horowitz.

Case after case of liberal activism and indoctrination has been publicized by conservative individuals, and by organizations like the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF). As a result, acts which in the past might have gone unnoticed and unquestioned – such as a Northern Kentucky professor’s demolishing of an anti-abortion display, or the University of Georgia’s disqualification of a Christian fraternity from student-organization privileges due to its requirement that its members be Christian – have been both exposed and corrected through quick, vigilant action on the part of those who were willing to stand up for actual equal treatment of college students, regardless of political affiliation or religious beliefs.

However, despite the watchfulness of those on the outside, America’s universities maintain their seemingly irreversible liberal bent. Campus conservatives have long worked responsibly and within legal boundaries to express their views and to fight for a better academic environment. Some conservative activists, though, have made a pastime of purposely bending and breaking rules for the “greater good” of exposing perceived liberal bias in the enforcement of those rules. Unfortunately, the actions of the latter have had the doubly regrettable result not only of reflecting poorly on the majority who fit the former profile, but also of quite possibly setting back the movement for conservative equality on campus by a significant margin due to their brash, distasteful tactics which serve both to align the administration against them and to dissuade their fellow campus conservatives from speaking out when they in turn are wronged unjustly, lest they be painted with the same brush.

The current intellectual state of our college campuses is clear. So, what is it that needs to be done? Can conservative students still survive in academia? Or has the liberal bias on campus – in the form of speech codes, student conduct guidelines, and professorial indoctrination – gotten so out of hand that government needs to intervene?


Jeff Emanuel

Jeff Emanuel, a Special Operations military veteran, is a Leadership fellow with the Center for International Trade and Security at the University of Georgia, where he also studies Classics. In addition, he is a contributing editor for conservative web log RedState.com, and is a columnist for the Athens, GA Banner-Herald newspaper.

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