Liberal speakers outnumber conservatives 3-to-1 at GWU
- A Campus Reform survey of official events held at The George Washington University found that a majority of campus speakers during the 2016-17 academic year were politically liberal.
- Of the 45 speakers hosted by the university to address political issues, 30 were liberal, 9 were conservative, and 6 were either politically independent or did not express a clear ideological affiliation.
A Campus Reform survey of official events held at The George Washington University found that a majority of campus speakers during the 2016-17 academic year were politically liberal.
The private university in Washington, D.C. hosted just nine conservative speakers during the last academic year, compared to 30 liberal speakers invited to campus.
All told, the university officially promoted a total of 45 speakers who addressed political issues, six of whom were either politically independent or did not express a clear ideological affiliation.
Among the most notable liberal speakers were former Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, and Sen. Tammy Duckworth. The university also invited liberal-leaning journalists and media commentators, including presenters of a progressive news website The Young Turks.
Former Obama pollster and current Democratic strategist Cornell Belcher was also hosted twice during the school year.
Some of the most notable conservative guests included Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, former White House press secretary Sean Spicer, and Rep. Paul Ryan.
Most of the speaking engagements were hosted by GW’s School of Media and Public Affairs, with other speakers being hosted by the National Churchill Library Center and the GW Office for Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement.
The ideological affiliation of the speakers was determined based on their public statements and remarks as well as their professional record. Lecturers who maintained a neutral political record or who have not made expressly partisan remarks were labeled as independent in the survey.
Campus Reform also excluded speakers who were only sponsored by student groups and organizations, limiting the study to official, school-sponsored events.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @kara_kirsten