Campus Reform | SQUASHING DEBATE? Fordham survey reveals disturbing stat about conservatives

SQUASHING DEBATE? Fordham survey reveals disturbing stat about conservatives

A survey by Fordham University students found that just nine percent of students surveyed are Republicans.

One student told Campus Reform that he believes the school creates a culture where conservatives feel silenced.

A survey of students at Fordham University in New York City found that just nine percent of those surveyed identify as Republicans. Conducted by Fordham’s student paper, The Observer, the survey revealed that 57.3 percent of those surveyed identified as Democrats.

The Observer anonymously surveyed 211 Fordham University students between Sept. 8 and Oct. 18 and found that the vast majority of students at Fordham are Democratic. Another 7.5% of students wrote in a third party, such as communism, socialism, libertarian, and the Green party.

Brandon Sapienza, a senior at Fordham and staff writer for The Observer, told Campus Reform that he was shocked at the lack of political diversity.

 “The survey results shocked me in only the fact that I believe that the number of students who are of the left are far greater than what this survey would indicate. I truly can say for a fact that I do not know a single other all-out conservative on campus which isn’t shocking," Sapienza said.

According to the Observer survey, liberal students at Fordham felt more comfortable sharing their political beliefs than conservatives.

When the news outlet asked students if they would be willing to talk more in-depth about their political beliefs, 37 percent of left-leaning students and unaffiliated students responded "yes," while just 19 perecnt of conservative students responded the same.

Sapienza said that this is evidence that Fordham's atmosphere silences conservative students.

"The atmosphere of the school is such that those who want to demonstrate their opposition to progressive politics fear being ostracized for doing so and as a result, they are forced to keep quiet," Sapienza said.

In June, Fordham University sanctioned student Austin Tong for posting his support for law enforcement and the Second Amendment on social media. 

Watch the full interview with Tong above, or subscribe to Campus Reform on YouTube.

[Related: “EXCLUSIVE: Feds investigate Fordham for punishing student who posed with gun”]

Faculty members also expressed concern about speaking publicly about political matters. 

The Observer quoted one professor who agreed to comment anonymously, saying, “I’m not comfortable being on record about these issues at my place of work.”

That same professor also expressed career concerns about speaking out politically. “

We’re currently living through a very strange, illiberal time in academia, whereby not expressing strict adherence to the reigning orthodoxy can hinder one’s future career prospects within the academy,” the professor said. “So if I were to express views contrary to majority opinion, then that could one day be used against me by someone on a hiring committee who looked up my name.”

Fordham University did not respond to a request for comment from Campus Reform.

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