Education

Political Climate at SDSU

Outside of select exceptions such as Hillsdale College and Liberty University, institutions for tertiary education in the United States are woefully left-leaning, both in terms of the political opinions and activism of the faculty, and in terms of an increasingly militant student body. Unsurprisingly, SDSU is not much different, though its problems are not as glaring as on other campuses across the country.

San Diego State University recently found itself promoting the same dialogue following alleged incidents of racial hatred outside the Black Resource Center on campus. An event called “Taking Back our Truths: Deconstructing Whiteness in Academia and Embracing Racial Justice and Healing Workshop” was scheduled for March 22nd. Other “healing circles” were scheduled for the same week. Similar events of solidarity were organized following the election of President Trump in November of 2016.

After complaints that the inclusion of race in campus police reports and advisories contributed to the growth of harmful stereotypes, reports became racially anonymous to avoid “inhibiting a climate of welcomeness, for our faculty, staff, and students of color”.

Conservative clubs have a strong presence on campus. SDSU College Republicans, Turning Point USA, and Students Supporting Israel all have healthy membership, steady attendance, and active visibility on campus. However, the clubs struggle in dealing with the administration. While other clubs might get immediate room assignments, funds for on-campus events, and other forms of essential cooperation, conservative clubs do not get the same treatment. SDSU College Republicans have had to wait weeks for a room assignment. Turning Point USA had a class scheduled in its meeting room shortly after the 2019 Spring semester began.

In 2017, when the SDSU College Republicans sought to bring Milo Yiannopoulos to campus, the request was denied due to “safety concerns” that could not be mitigated. Namely, bomb-sniffing dogs needed to be brought in to sweep for an ordinance. A six-hour recommended security sweep demanded over a dozen bomb-sniffing dogs, of which only a handful existed in San Diego County. Leftist speakers and events never face this kind of scrutiny, such as those organized by the IYSSE, a self-declared Trotskyist organization on campus.

The administration at SDSU has a long way to go in re-achieving political and intellectual diversity on its campus. The “marketplace of ideas” has turned into a monopoly, one that doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. Only recently did the university upgrade its “red-light” status from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). Yellow-Light echoes a common perception of the SDSU political climate: not egregiously bad, but only passably acceptable.

Segregation is a growing trend on the American university campus. Whether it’s styled as exclusive commencement ceremonies, “racial healing spaces”, group-specific resource centers, racially-divided student housing, and even classes open only to students of similar racial backgrounds, university administrations are enthusiastically complying with student pleas (read: demands) to seal themselves off from the greater student body. This segregation is completely opposite of the civil rights movement, this is a backstep of morality with our students perpetuating the idea of separation over cohesiveness.

 

Photo by Jay Galvin via Flickr