We’re all reading that headline and thinking “Only 57 percent?”
I would have guessed 85-90. Biden winning the election may have been worth 25-30 points on this.
The survey comes from North Dakota State University and was conducted in April of this year with a sample of 1,000 college students across 71 different campuses. It skews heavily female because, well, college enrollment skews heavily female. But women also tend to lean Democratic relative to men, which means there’s a bit of extra leftward ideological pressure across the sample.
I have no deep thoughts about the results except to say: They are who we thought they were.
College professors are who we thought they were too:
On the eternal struggle between socialism and capitalism, the results were predictable — but with a note of hope. Even self-identified liberals couldn’t get to 50 percent in support of socialism:
The most interesting section has to do with free speech. One pleasant surprise was that solid majorities believed that controversial speakers and material should be available on campus. Seventy percent (including 61 percent of liberals) thought a university shouldn’t withdraw an invitation to a speaker just because many students disagree with their views. Another 76 percent (and 74 percent of liberals) believed that required reading for a class shouldn’t be dropped just because many students strongly disagree with it — although opinion weakened a bit when the question was reworded to ask about students feeling “uncomfortable” with the material. In that case, just 65 percent opposed dropping it. Liberals split 42/58.
Where things started to get dodgy is when students were asked about people saying “offensive” things in class:
— Zaid Jilani (@ZaidJilani) June 16, 2021
The result wasn’t much better when the question was tweaked to ask about fellow students saying something offensive instead:
It’s hard to square their wanting to narc on their teachers and classmates for saying “offensive” things when they’re okay with having speakers and reading material on campus whose views may be disfavored. It may be that the word “offensive” holds special magic to the woke collegiate mind. It’s one thing to invite someone to speak whose views are unpopular or to read a book that makes some “uncomfortable,” but views that are offensive are a whole other ballgame. Once you cross the red line into O-land you’re getting snitched on, unapologetically.
But there’s a more benign possibility. Given the fact that students are okay reading and listening to views they disagree with, maybe the question about a teacher or student saying something “offensive” brought to mind something really offensive, like using a racial slur in class or insulting someone in a lurid way. A teacher or student behaving abusively would be grounds for informing the school. The question, unanswered by this survey, is where the respondents are drawing the line on what’s abusive. Directing the N-word at a student is a matter for the dean. Reading from “Huckleberry Finn” isn’t, or shouldn’t be. Which scenario were students thinking of in answering the snitch questions?