Abstract

The nation has seen a rebirth of many of the Vietnam-era values in today's students. Protests, mostly in opposition to the war in Iraq, have become frequent events on college campuses. Student organizations advocating equal rights for women, racial minorities and the gay community have made their voice heard in state and federal legislatures. Perhaps there is some truth to the view that college students are a very liberal group that tends to become more liberal as they approach graduation. Many scholars feel that the university environment nurtures this liberalization in the student body. There seems to be a general acceptance of social and economic liberal ideas both in and out of the classroom. Some feel that professors have a large effect on students' political development. Others speculate that the material studied by students awakens new views that tend to push them to the left. Still others believe that it is the effect of peers and the general college environment that has the biggest impact. Whatever the source, it seems as if college students tend to cross the graduation platform more liberal than they arrive. This research will look at the political views of students at Illinois Wesleyan University to see if a liberalizing trend exists within the campus. The source of this liberalization (or lack thereof) will be construed from data provided by several hundred students at the institution.

Disciplines

Political Science

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