An open letter to the students of Keene State College:
As we enter into the waning days of this presidential campaign, and as the intensity of the race revs up across the nation and here on the Keene State College campus, I want all students who support Mitt Romney to know that they have an ally and advocate amongst the faculty. This is perhaps a surprise, as you may well have presumed that all of your faculty members are liberal. Well, please don’t feel too badly if you believed that, because you wouldn’t be wrong by much.
Indeed, perhaps you are aware of the recent faculty and student debate that focused on women’s issues. The promotional materials for the debate showcased the Republican elephant and Democratic donkey and identified four speakers as advocates for each side. Seems pretty even, right? And it would have been if some of the participants had actually been Republicans.
A debate with eight participants, and as best as I can tell, none of whom are registered Republicans. This seems to be the state of politics on the Keene State College campus and it made me a bit curious. So I followed up with a bit of research and cross-referenced all 452 full-time and adjunct faculty members in the KSC directory with the city of Keene voter registration polls.
Here’s what I found. Of the 452 names listed, 131 faculty members are registered to vote in Keene; 83 are registered as Democrats, 42 registered Undeclared, and 6 registered as Republicans. In other words, only 4.5 percent of the faculty members in this sample are registered as Republican. Holding this consistent would mean that out of all 452 faculty members, a total of 21 are Republicans. (So much for “diversity.”) The absurdity of this imbalance wouldn’t be overly troubling if it weren’t for the fact that politics seems to so frequently bleed into the classroom, as you and your classmates well know.
Recently, I’ve heard from students about how the Occupy movement was portrayed in glowing terms in their class, with no similar appreciation given to the Tea Party movement. I’ve heard from students about how their professors told them they had “tears of joy” when the president was elected. I’ve heard from students who chose a topic for a particular writing assignment, such as capital punishment, and were told by their professor which side (hint: it was the liberal side) to take on the issue. And, perhaps most egregiously, I’ve heard from students about a recently retired Political Science professor who, before his retirement, would hold up The Equinox in class and skewer the conservative articles written by a first-year female student. This same student was contacted about the recent debate, and understandably declined to participate.
Is this the climate that you students deserve? One where conservative students are fearful of voicing their principles? I certainly don’t believe so, and I hope you agree. Since this college is all about creating ‘safe’ spaces, I hereby declare my office to be a safe space for students to come discuss their thoughts and voice their conservative principles.
As the faculty representative to the KSC Republicans, I also encourage all students to stop by the KSC Republican table at the Pumpkin Lobotomy. Swing by and say hello, find out more about the KSC Republicans, and pick up some free Republican swag. As the truly countercultural group on this campus, we hope you join the Republican revolution! Thank you for your consideration.
Dr. Christopher Cusack