Liberals At SMC: Donkeys Or Asses?
The complexities of political resolutions, mixed with unrealistic expectations and political expediency naturally require dissenting views to prevent costly mistakes. There have been disastrous consequences when dissent was silenced and political expedience won. Toleration of different ideas is one of the core principles of American democracy; the truth emerges from rational dialogue.
An educational environment that fails to tolerate different ideas decays intellectual discourse, and degrades the true learning environment. People on the political left claim to be individuals that are tolerant and open minded, but strangely they are not tolerant of other people's views. The environment at Santa Monica College truly fails to provide an environment tolerant of different ideas because of the distinctive liberal bias.
I have encountered ignorance and hate from students from my experiences tabling for the Republican Club, and the John McCain campaign. These incidents happened in only one day of tabling. Referring to a McCain sign, a male student yelled twice, "I should burn that sign." An older female stated to me, "You are the most hated person on campus." Than a male student came up to the table, and fervently said that the Republicans are Nazis because the neoconservatives in the Republican Party are Nazis. I am open to discussion with anyone, but the people that show this kind of behavior, show ignorance and hate, not the characteristics of scholars.
In 2003, a political science class professor on the first day of class saluted the U.S. flag with a "Sieg Heil" comparing George Bush to Hitler, and later said, "I am warning you -- I will be tough on Israel in this class." These actions prompted a student, who was not on the Corsair staff, to write a front page article for the Corsair newspaper about his awkward experience with an open bias in the class.
In 2005, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, a former SMC student, spoke at the SMC commencement ceremony. Some students and professors exercised their right to protest outside the event because of disagreements with his policies. However, a small group of professors acted unprofessionally, and turned their backs on him during the ceremony. A letter of apology was sent to the governor with over 50 signatures on it.
Many professors at this school show a clear bias in their classrooms, which degrades the learning environment.
On the website, "RateMyProfessor.com," students write about the classroom environment. One student writes, "Only complaint is her inability to keep her left wing bias to herself but that's hardly news at SMC." Another writes, "She is a radical...Her bias gets in the way of learning. Don't believe everything she says, she has an agenda." Another student wrote, "Very bias, don't disagree with her... Very disorganized, talked a lot about herself, unprofessional, preached her political views, PETA videos included."
Two students commenting on the same teacher came to similar conclusions. One student wrote, "I have never heard a professor propagandize quite so obviously as she did. She spends most of her very easy class trying to cram her leftist ideology down the throats of her all-too-willing students. She avoids critical thinking less it show her to a vacuous and mediocre thinker and teacher." The other student wrote, "Her attitude towards the students was mean, condescending, and her views were leftist- she did NOT appreciate hearing another view then her own."
Of course "RateMyProfessor.com" is not perfect, and some students may write because they have a grudge. Then, there are the teachers who are strongly opinionated, but make an effort not to be biased in the classroom, and I commend them for that. However, when an overwhelming amount of students are writing about the same biased environment, and when certain teachers openly preach their views, it shows there truly is a problem in our classrooms.
Many professors are open about their bias, and are not ashamed of their political proselytism. The First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech, but it does not allow political proselytism in a public institution on taxpayers' money. As educators, the professors should act professionally, and keep opinions as opinions, and not fill the curriculum with a political bias. Many students are afraid to speak their minds for fear of reprisal. This is not a new phenomenon; sadly, professors across the country have made this environment the norm.
From the only Republican Sustainable Crew Leader, I hope that everyone can speak their mind freely, and not be deterred by the strong bias at campus. In the spirit of collegiate unity, I urge my fellow classmates to be tolerant of all views, and engage in polite discourse with other students. The speech and debate team is a microcosm of the school composed of students with many different views, and we always debate different ideas and philosophies with mutual respect. Similarly, this school has students with many different viewpoints, and we should create a respectful environment where students can freely discuss their ideas.