Read Sara Dogan's response here. · 10 March 2005

Filed under: Press Coverage

By Eric Wolkoff--The Johns-Hopkins Newsletter--03/11/05

On campuses around the country there is a deep commitment to diversity of race, ethnicity, nationality, sex or religion. Yet, while we all share the goal of being educated in a diverse environment, we may have different ideas about what constitutes diversity. This is not to say that certain aspects of diversity are more important than others -- in no way should any facet be ignored, but invariably due to a lack of resources certain groups are skipped over or not given their fair share.

As a senior on my way out of Hopkins and off into the real world, and as someone who has consistently advocated for the cause of College Republicans on campus, I'd like to posit my theory about an area of diversity in which our community is lacking -- ideological diversity.

My liberal friends often argue that Hopkins is a conservative campus. Certainly when compared to Berkley or Wesleyan, JHU may appear friendly to Republicans, but is it really?

According to the last survey taken by the News-Letter only 16.5 percent of Hopkins identified themselves as right of center and 70 percent of the student body claimed they would be voting for a candidate other than George W. Bush.

Of the faculty, the News-Letter reported that during the last election cycle not a single professor donated $200 or more to any conservative candidate or cause. Given the statistics, I'd argue that the claim that Hopkins is a conservative biased institution is a myth.

But how are Republicans treated? Is there anger or a manifestation of bias directed against conservatives at Hopkins? The evidence points to a problem.

As an example, Justin Klatsky, President of the College Republicans, told me that fall semester over 80 percent of the College Republican posters promoting club meetings were torn down within 48 hours of being posted. When I led the club, I remember that posters promoting conservative guest lecturers on campus were torn and the words "Fascist' and "Nazi' were written on the ones that remained.

The College Republicans must poster campus in waves, replacing the posters which are torn down and defaced on an almost daily basis. Worse yet, the administration response to such activity is to do nothing.

If other campus minorities were treated in such a way, would the administration sit in silence? As a parallel example, my freshman year when the Diverse Sexuality and Gender Alliance's (DSAGA) posters were defaced and torn down by faceless cowards, the administration response was swift.

Almost immediately, a notice was sent out stating that those who perpetrated such acts would be caught and punished. News-Letter columns were written about the events on campus and tolerance days were funded. Yet, when the same thing happens to conservative groups on a regular basis, the response is to do nothing.

Why is freedom of academic opinion only protected for 50 percent of Americans? Furthermore, why is it that conservative professors feel the need to hide their ideology, often by registering to vote as independents or unenrolled? Why do only 16.5 percent of students feel comfortable labeling themselves as right of center? Is it because the word conservative is often synonymous with idiot' on college campuses?

Often I hear the argument that 90 percent of professors are liberal because conservatives are just hicks, or uninterested in the academic profession. If a college gave the excuse that they don't hire female professors because women are naturally deficient in academics or disinterested in life outside of the home, would that be considered a valid argument?

Hopkins has fallen victim to the same problem faced by many of our nation's colleges. We must foster a renewed effort on our campus to engage the subject of ideological diversity. Conservative faculty should be hired and academic tolerance should be promoted. As David Horowitz notes, "You can't get a good education, if they're only telling you half the story -- even if you're paying $30,000 a year."

--Eric Wolkoff is a senior political science major.