Swarthmore students get heaping helping of liberal speakers

Kara Zupkus
D.C. Campus Correspondent

  • Of 22 political speakers hosted by Swarthmore College last school year, 18 were liberal and just three were conservative.
  • The liberal-leaning events explored issues such as social justice, immigrant rights, LGBT rights, and racism, whereas the right-leaning speakers lectured on the rise of President Trump and the consequences of the 2016 presidential election.
  • A new Campus Reform survey revealed that Swarthmore College hosted only three conservative speakers during the 2016-2017 academic year.

    In contrast, the private liberal arts college hosted a total of 18 liberal-leaning speakers, who were invited to lecture on a variety of social and political topics.

    [RELATED: Conservative speakers extremely rare at UW-Madison]

    Using the official university events calendar, Campus Reform identified the ideological leanings of each speaker using published works, organizational ties, and self-identifying remarks online. Out of 22 total speakers, only one lecturer was classified as politically independent.

    The three right-leaning speakers included U.S. elections expert Henry Olsen, popular conservative intellectual Charles Murray, and former Libertarian Party presidential nominee Austin Petersen.

    Notable liberal speakers who also lectured at Swarthmore include the president of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards; queer activist Eli Clare; and social justice advocate Bryan Stevenson.

    [RELATED: University of Alabama only hosted two conservatives last year]

    A majority of the liberal-leaning events hosted on campus during the school year were organized around themes such as social justice, immigrant rights, LGBT rights, and racism, whereas the right-leaning speakers lectured on the rise of President Trump and the consequences of the 2016 presidential election.

    While Campus Reform examined all political events that were mentioned in the official school calendar, the survey did not include speaker events that were hosted on campus but not officially promoted by the institution.

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    Kara Zupkus

    Kara Zupkus

    D.C. Campus Correspondent

    Kara Zupkus is a Washington, D.C. Campus Correspondent, and reports liberal bias and abuse on campus for Campus Reform. She studies Political Science and Journalism at The George Washington University, where she serves as treasurer of GW's Chapter of Young America's Foundation.

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