Mon. May 16th, 2022

PhotocreditsNatilyn Hicks (Aubrey Hicks Photography) via Unsplash.jpg

I’ve been accused of fear mongering, sinophobia and propagandizing by multiple op-ed articles from December. Rather than going into the details of why the writers are terribly incorrect, I will merely say that “facts don’t care about your feelings” and move on to telling you all about my college journey as a conservative.

As a conservative, I have faced a good bit of discrimination based on my political ideology. Going into college, I knew that my ideology would gain me no appreciation, but despite this, my freshman self was painfully optimistic. You know that “I’m going to change the world and it’ll be easy” attitude that is typical of young people? Yeah, that was 100% me. 

It didn’t take long to figure out that my grades came to reflect my disagreements with professors in my papers. Keep in mind that this was Montgomery County Community College (from henceforth Montco) and they are less open-minded than West Chester’s faculty members.  For essays, I would regularly receive a poor grade based solely on my viewpoint. In addition to this, one of my professors would routinely state that I couldn’t understand certain racial concepts because I’m white. Side note: this man is still employed and hasn’t changed one bit. Instead, he has only become more radical. In my brother’s case (who is currently attending Montco), he receives an automatic F whenever he disagrees with his professor. 

In short, I realized that I had to hide my ideologies to receive the A+ I needed. So that’s what I did. I listened to my professors and parroted back their talking points, which earned me better grades. Sometimes I would stray from this path to write pro-life essays, and as a result, I would see lower grades. On top of this, whenever I demonstrated my right-wing leanings, I was met with surprise and disdain by my fellow classmates. One of those “What? She’s conservative? But she seemed so smart,” sort of reactions.

 On one occasion when I was wearing my MAGA hat, an emotionally-unstable female came storming up to me with tears streaming down her face shouting that I shouldn’t vote for such a “bad man.” Being the inquisitive human that I am, I asked why, but all I received was mindless sputtering. 

When I transferred to West Chester, I assumed the rules would be the same so I stuck by my strategy: voice low, but mind active. Granted, in cases where one of my top issues was discussed I would be inclined to jump into the intellectual fray. I would still receive what I can only describe as shock from my classmates and some of my professors. However, I did notice that here I wouldn’t receive poor grades for my ideology. I even wrote an essay on the ethics of abortion and received an A+.

After this realization, I decided to “come out” as a conservative in my classes. At a liberal college, I feel that it is more difficult to reveal oneself as right-wing than transgender: in the latter one might receive praise and in the former one might receive contempt. Despite this, I decided to stand up for my beliefs. For my troubles, I was rewarded for being alluded to as a racist for defending curious white people about inquiring about Black people’s dreadlocks. To say “wow, that’s so cool! How did you do that?” is racist, apparently. I later asked an African American colleague about this, and he said he would be flattered by the comments. So, maybe everyone’s a bit hypersensitive in the era of microaggressions.

I was soon introduced to The Quad, where I hoped to shed light on conservatives. Since starting here, I have been met with a substantial amount of backlash; but being my father’s daughter, I enjoy the battle. Here I can debate with other college students and reconsider certain stances when I’m met with unknown facts; or I can lose hope in the future when met with blatant stupidity. 

I have submitted quite a few articles, which were sent back for various reasons, one of which was that I wasn’t very empathetic towards minorities. This pertained to my unpublished article on Florida’s Parental Rights Bill. Being right-wing, I doubt The Quad would publish any of my views on the LGBTQ+ area. They have referred back to their “radical compassion” rules whereas I have referred to my “factual truth.” C’est la vie.

One anonymous professor even sent The Quad scathing remarks about how they shouldn’t have published my article on Biden’s vaccine mandates. Apparently, I was incorrect to put both abortions and vaccines under an individual’s choice. I don’t agree your fetus is your body, but I decided to use a left-wing view on abortion. So, body autonomy applies to both because it is “your body, your choice.” The professor also implied other wonderful accusations, but to articulate further would bypass my max word count. 

But why am I telling you all this? As a senior, I want to say to all conservative students at West Chester University: you don’t have to be quiet. Stand up for what you believe in and don’t let anyone make you feel ashamed of your beliefs. If I could go back in time, that’s exactly what I would do. The only way to develop your ideas is to be willing to take a chance regardless of the consequences. That is exactly what I plan to do with my life. I will no longer be forced into silent submission; I will try my best to speak the truth. 

In conclusion, I hope this article helps those struggling out there: struggling either to understand how conservatives even exist (yes, this is a conversation I actually overheard in the library) or to “come out” as conservative. I know it’s hard, but that is how conservatives move forward, how we will win elections. The College Republicans is a good club to make you feel at home here. 

References:  December’s Op-ed: When Conservative Rhetoric Takes the Easy Way Out (wcuquad.com)

The anonymous professor: probably still on your pillar? If not, I have a picture of it for you.


Victoria Foley is a fourth-year Political Science major with a minor in Politics, Law, & Society. VF964426@wcupa.edu

9 thoughts on “The Journey of a Conservative Student”
  1. This is disgusting. You are allowed an opinion, just as I am, but to allude to your disapproval of things others can’t change (i.e. race, sexuality) and hold yourself higher for those views is shocking. How have you made it through four years of college without realizing how warped your worldview is? And who thought it was okay to publish this?

    1. Thank you, KM, for proving the point that you don’t think I’m allowed to have a “disgusting and warped” opinion. Here is a question for you: how have you made it this far in life without realizing that everyone with a different opinion than yours is not an automatically terrible human? You seem a little bigoted, my friend.

  2. This article exudes white fragility. Did you ever stop to think that these professors are critiquing you and your brother because you’re being terrible human beings? And using the excuse that you asked a black power is. using your friend of color as a token. I’m sorry for comparing the struggle the LGBTQ+ and POC face in this country is completely tone deaf.

  3. This is Transphobic, also as for this line “I have submitted quite a few articles, which were sent back for various reasons, one of which was that I wasn’t very empathetic towards minorities.” You just admitted you’re racist. Transphobic, racist, AND conservative??? Girl pick a struggle. Also, stop trying to be oppressed so bad miss “facts don’t care about your feeling”. To quote my father, “this sounds like something a white conservative would write”.

  4. First of all, it is an absolute joke that you even attempted to compare the struggles of trans individuals with your being conservative. You are not being discriminated against for being a republican. To compare being any political party to any group that is systemically and politically oppressed is completely out of touch and reveals just the brand of privilege that you are unaware that you hold. Trans people are routinely murdered for existing. You emphasize how your views rely on “facts”. I would like to see them and I mean peer reviewed studies from qualified individuals with citations, not bible verses, blog posts, or things your parents said. Have you ever stopped to consider that perhaps many people in higher ed being more liberal in their stances is not a coincidence? Maybe being more educated about things that we are not normally exposed to as white, cis people builds empathy and therefore makes us “radical”, as you would put it. For a person who aligns with a political party of a belief that people are not entitled to hand-outs and coddling, you really seem to crave these exact things from your professors and classmates. Your classmates owe you no loyalty or kindness when your “views” lack empathy for unchangeable identities they/their loved ones may hold or actively advocate against the common good. Suck it up, actually listen to people when they speak, and maybe even learn to be a better person.

  5. Thank you so much for your openess and honesty! In a world where if you disagree with the main stream media and the opinion of the noisy few, you’re a horrible human being, standing up for what you believe in can be so hard. Especially becasue its only popular if you agree with everyone else. So thank you so much for sharing your journey and for giving voice to what you believe in without backing down! Keep doing what you’re doing (also ignoring the naysayers ya know please) and be proud of yourself!

  6. I absolutely love this! People should never be afraid to say who they are! Hats off to this writer, whose humor I quite enjoy.

  7. Is it possible you got bad grades on essays in the past not because of your political views, but because your writing could be better? If this article is anything to go by, another sweep from grammatical mistakes and clarity might be in your best interest.

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