According to CampusReform.org, Virginia Tech has a liberal bias. In early August, the group published research claiming Tech was 82 percent liberal. However, its data are flawed.
In college, we are taught to think; we are not taught ways to have a liberal bias. I am going to break down exactly why the information Campus Reform “researched” is unfounded.
First, student organization funding does not come from the Student Government Association. Rather, it comes from Student Activities and the Budget Board.
There are forms that any registered student organization must fill out in order to receive funding. The group’s information is misleading, for it says “no conservative student organization has received funding.” I beg to differ.
Campus Reform considers the Jewish Student Union a “conservative” group, and they received funding last year, even though their mission is neither liberal nor conservative. Rather, it is to celebrate its Jewish heritage.
Also, there is no discrimination when deciding who gets funding; most student organizations never even apply for funding. The funding process at Tech is unbelievably simple and I assure you there is no bias when deciding which student groups receive funding.
Next, some of the “left-leaning” student organizations Campus Reform lists have absolutely no political purpose — thus no “liberal bias.”
For instance, Greeks Going Green exists merely to promote more sustainable living. Since when was that a conservative or liberal view? Also, the Women’s Center Club? How is that liberal?
Lastly, I know plenty of people in groups such as Students for Sensible Drug Policy who are moderately conservative but see it as a fundamental student right to make the policy match Virginia’s policy. In addition, Gov. Schwarzenegger of California, a Republican, recently passed a law to reduce the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana from a misdemeanor to an infraction.
Campus Reform discusses the Board of Visitors, which is appointed by the governor. It explained that, in 2008, Tech’s BOV donated to Democrats. Of course there was a bias toward Democrats by BOV members in 2008, since Democrat Tim Kaine was governor and was solely responsible for appointing people to the board. If we look at Gov. Bob McDonnell’s appointees to the BOV this past year, I guarantee they donated mostly to conservatives.
Lastly, according to the President’s Annual Report, there are more than 7,000 people on paid staff, approximately 1,400 of whom are professors. Campus Reform wrote only 75 faculty and staff donated to congressional campaigns. From this data, the group said Tech was 82 percent liberal.
What that statistic tells me is Tech faculty/staff are apathetic. I find it hard to believe that they extrapolated 0.1 percent of the Tech population to represent the entire faculty/staff.
All my professors in finance have been very conservative. I could tell you exactly why the minimum wage does not make sense. I’ve heard it in almost all of my classes. The beautiful thing about a collegiate experience is that teachers have the right to teach however they want. Some are liberal, some are conservative. The tenure process allows professors the freedom to teach without worrying about outside influences.
At Tech, we are taught the importance of data and the scientific method. It troubles me Campus Reform would publish flawed data that, in essence, paints a false picture of Tech.
Freedom is a beautiful thing. We should be thankful we are at school that focuses on teaching us how to think critically, and most importantly, on our own.