The Truth About College Students

Discussion in 'Education' started by SingingMongoose, May 12, 2008.

  1. SingingMongoose
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    SingingMongoose Member

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    So, I'm a college student.

    I imagine there are a lot of varying perceptions of us out there in the political realm, based on memories, studies, and (mostly) rhetoric, so I'd like to set the record straight (at least about the students I've met at my midwestern college here in the present).

    First of all, it's not really true that we're all "liberal." It's accurate to say that most college students think they're liberal, but honestly, most of us just identify with the man known as Slick Willy, and hate Republicans because they won't let us smoke pot.

    As proof of my claims, I give you Exhibit A: Ron Paul. The media didn't seem to notice all that much, but in some corners of youth political circles, Ron Paul was a bigger celebrity than Barack Obama. Of course, his actual platform probably is repulsive to liberals, but that just brings me to my point -

    - which is that one can't really be "liberal" or "conservative" without actually caring about politics. The wealth of Ron Paul-loving stoners and digg.com posters is proof of our ignorance. Believe me, most of us don't take to heart our professors' babbling about "sustainability" and "class differences." Most of us don't attend enough class to arrive at any coherent picture of what the profs are saying, and even if we did, we have an unfortunate tendency to completely ignore politics. Complaining about youth apathy is nothing new, I know, but I'm not complaining; I'm just pointing out that "liberal college student" is frequently an oxymoron.

    Honestly, if you want the best representation of a college student's "political views," collegehumor.com might be your best bet. In the gaps between a massive celebration of beer and rampant degradation and objectification of college-age women, you might find the occasional endorsement of Barack Obama, or story about some legalization petition. Our being declared "liberal" is simply a slander against liberals, perhaps even an ironic one.
     
  2. liberalogic
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    liberalogic Member

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    Ok, I'm a college student too and I couldn't disagree more with you. Maybe it's a regional difference (I go to school in NYC), but just about every single one of my friends are politically aware-- not just in the pot smoking sense, but in general.

    Students at my school have staged protests in favor of the humane treatment of immigrants, against the war in Iraq, for a woman's right to choose, and for gay rights. Generally, many (not all) of us believe in an expansion of the traditional liberal welfare state, which should somewhat level the economic playing field. I say this from observing the comments of my classmates and from engaging friends and acquaintances in thought-provoking conversation.

    I'll concede that it's true that if you're not "liberal" at my school, you're looked at a bit differently. However, most of the kids who profess to be liberal honestly believe in the tenets of liberalism.

    Again, though, this is just my school. The midwest may be different.
     
  3. CharlestonChad
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    CharlestonChad Baller Deluxe

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    Same thing at my school. We're in the deep south, but there's a lot of northerners so that makes it more liberal than your average southern college. Our campus is extremely politically aware. Anti-war, darfur, planet earth, ect... all have protests, groups, and awarness programs. I think a majority of students that claim to be liberal are aware of their stances and are striving to make a difference, but that's just what I picked up in some discussion classes and through the number of student organizations that are liberal minded.
     
  4. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    I dearly wish someone would define "liberal" for me.

    I understand what it means in the political science way, but that does not seem to be the way anyone uses the word today.

    Let us remember, shall we, that the Republican party was once THE LIBERAL PARTY, by the standards of what we think of as liberal today.

    I think using these words to describe ourselves is a mistake, frankly.

    Summing up somebody's (probably) very complex views about the world with one word just seems foolish to me.
     

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