Conservatives on campus

Story by Anna Karalaik Photo by Sydney Federicks-Selby

Photo by Sydney Fredericks-Selby

Some conservatives students on campus have expressed praise for the way Long Beach City College is accepting of different ideologies in the classroom at a time when the country is in a political turmoil.

Members of Turning Point USA, the LBCC chapter, value the interaction professors on campus allow them to have when challenging different viewpoints.

Turning Point USA is a conservative student organization founded by Charlie Kirk, and best known for their “Professor Watchlist” during the Trump election. Turning Point USA has over 350 chapters across the nation’s campuses including CSULB and LBCC.

“When it comes to a lot of education in our country, the left has taken over, and they have their own narrative; but here free thought is promoted, and this (campus) is a really good place to start out,” said George McCullough, a member of the LBCC chapter.

According to McCullough, LBCC is one of the best places for promoting free thought and producing free thinkers.

“We have a lot of professors here that are interested in critical thinking, and in order to be a critical thinker, you have to look at all sides of a viewpoint. It’s very refreshing; I know that it doesn’t happen in four-year colleges; even when I went in the 70’s it didn’t happen and it’s even worse now,” McCullough said.

Members of the chapter collectively agreed that having a diversity of ages, races, religions, and experience play a large part in why the reaction to conservatives on campus is different at a community college compared to a four-year institution.

“The experience level at a community college is a lot different than at a university. There, it’s generally younger people from similar backgrounds who have only been in school their whole lives, but here you have people that have transferred from straight out of high school or you have people returning who have a lot more life experience,” said Daniel McCullough, president of Turning Point USA LBCC chapter, (not related to George McCullough).

Although some conservatives on campus feel the institution does a good job of tolerance of different ideas, Donald Douglas, political science and conservative professor, has observed and heard from students in his classroom, that they may not share their true beliefs.

“A lot of the students that I have seen throughout the classroom that lean more toward the conservative side might self censor and not speak their true feelings that often because they feel like they will be treated badly by other students or be called names like racist,” said Douglas.

Daniel McCullough explained that by bringing a diversity of speakers it could challenge people’s ideas they have on political topics.

“Every single campus should advocate for different viewpoints, even if someone finds them heinous; you don’t have to like them but you should always hear another viewpoint if for no other reason, but to understand them and understand why you dislike them,” said Daniel McCullough. “We need to bring liberal speakers, conservative speakers, and moderate speakers; any of them, it’s always a learning experience.”

However, Douglas and some members of the LBCC chapter believe if the guest speaker brought on campus was someone of a high profile such as Milo Yiannopoulos and Ben Shapiro, LBCC could have the same national negative reaction that could result in protests.

“Everyone is labeled, you have to be tolerant and you have to be progressive, and if you are not, it’s not that they just disagree with you; now you are a bad person,” said Douglas.