By KENNY MCDONELL
The extreme liberal nature of UMW makes it hard for conservatives to feel at home. There’s no doubt that UMW is a highly liberal campus, but the conservatives that are here are extremely isolated and excluded.
UMW is packed full of liberal students, professors, advisors and school management. Republicans on campus, myself included, have to walk on eggshells as to not “trigger” liberals day in and day out. Liberal ideologies are thrown in my face every day at UMW, and conservatives are faced with two options: the choice to speak up, and be verbally attacked by liberals, or to stay quiet. As a conservative on campus, it’s hard for me to feel one hundred percent at home in an environment such as this.
A prime example of this was the “pro-life” writing in chalk on campus a couple of weeks ago, when students wrote on sidewalks all over camps advocating for pro-life. In what seemed like no time at all, pro-choicers defaced the pro-life chalk messages. Imagine if it were the other way around. Liberal students would feel targeted, and there would be campus-wide outrage- but the conservatives remained mostly quiet.
Another example of this is when the firearms club of UMW painted the rock to promote an event. They were having a “2A Day” where they would advocate the importance of the second amendment and gun safety. Liberal students painted over the rock, and some students implied that the firearms club was disregarding the school mass shooting in Florida, which happened earlier that day. Not only was this an offensive and irresponsible implication, but they also painted over the firearms club’s message within 24 hours, breaking the 24 hour courtesy rule for the Spirit Rock.
Could you imagine if conservatives did this in response to the rock being painted about support for Dr. Ford? Again, there would campus outrage. This is not what a home should feel like; it should be all inclusive, respectful, and a place where all students feel comfortable and respected, even Republicans at a liberal arts college.
Everyone should have a right to express their opinions and beliefs, however UMW has become a place where if a student doesn’t agree with liberal ideology, they’re often made to feel wrong, or even ostracized. First and foremost, UMW is an academic institution and should be a home for all of its students that live there. With all of the political turmoil on campus, and in classrooms, it is extremely hard for me to feel at home on campus. Unfortunately, UMW is only a place for “diversity and inclusion” if we agree with everything liberals think. Liberals always preach about acceptance, but are only truly accepting if we think like they do.