Analysis: Liberty U a rare haven for conservative speakers
- A Campus Reform survey of official events held at Liberty University found that most of the campus speakers invited during the last school year identify as conservatives and Republicans.
- Conversely, 86% of political speakers invited by the University of Vermont were identifiably liberal, while Cal State-Long Beach did not host a single conservative speaker during the entire school year.
A Campus Reform survey of official events held at Liberty University found that most of the campus speakers invited during the last school year identify as conservatives and Republicans.
The survey examined Liberty’s Convocation schedule, official calendar, and events list to determine the political and ideological leaning of its speakers during the 2016-2017 school year.
During that time period, the university hosted a total of 28 speakers, 4 of whom were either independent or politically liberal.
The majority of the speakers also delivered their remarks during Liberty’s convocation, an event that is described to be an “assembling of our student body and staff leadership in order to inform, inspire and sometimes to simply entertain.”
“With over 13,000 in attendance and thousands more watching online and on television, Liberty University’s Convocation is the largest weekly gathering of college students in the world,” the university claims.
By hosting speakers that disagree with their Evangelical Christian worldview, Liberty attempts to expose its students to a vast range of ideas that go outside of mainstream colleges’ echo-chamber.
“We believe ‘how you think’ is just as vital as ‘what you think,’” Liberty says. “A fundamental part of the college experience is being exposed to a variety of viewpoints so that students can better understand why they hold their own beliefs and be better prepared to defend them.”
In the past year, the university has hosted President Donald Trump, NBA basketball player Steph Curry, former presidential candidate Gary Johnson, conservative writer Dinesh D’Souza, and actors Mel GIbson and Vince Vaughn.
Some of Liberty’s Convocation guests also speak at events hosted by clubs on campus, like Jeanine Pirro, Steve Forbes, and Dinesh D’Souza. These events were sponsored by Liberty’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter.
Speakers who were exclusively sponsored by student organizations, however, were not included in this survey.
A complete breakdown of political speakers at Liberty University can be found below:
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