Recent events at Harvard have drawn significant attention due to their controversial nature. Many people are talking about how liberal Harvard has become. But is it?
Many people seem to use “liberal” as an adjective, describing something as being very open-minded or politically motivated. However, when used as a noun, “Liberalism” refers to a specific ideology with a set of beliefs that include many different things.
Some examples of some parts of liberalism include freedom of speech, equality for all (including women, LGBT individuals, and minorities), civil liberties, self-determination, social justice, and more. All of these concepts are clearly not present in what happened at Harvard this past week.
This article will discuss whether or not Harvard has become more liberal by looking at two major issues: diversity and free expression. We will also look at one other topic: academic excellence. Let’s see if there are any signs of liberalism at Harvard!
By having students coming from varied cultural experiences, we are giving each student an opportunity to learn more about themselves and others. This is important for personal growth and unity.
The campus is liberal
Many people assume that higher education institutions like Harvard are very conservative, but this isn’t always the case. In fact, many students at Harvard feel more politically left-leaning than their surrounding community. This can be attributed to several factors, such as the media they consume, how well educated their parents are, and whether or not they lived through one of the two World Wars.
The media most people in America watch gives an inaccurate portrayal of what it means to be wealthy and powerful, making them think that rich people are mostly evil and that corporations have unlimited power. All these things seem very controversial, so individuals who grow up feeling persecuted because of their wealth or position of power may become activists later in life.
People whose parents went to college for free tend to believe that any person with a degree should be paid enough money to survive, which creates a perception that everyone except them is lucky to enjoy the educational resources given to them by others.
Some people don’t live through a Second World War, but those that do often develop strong feelings about war due to the deaths it causes. This could influence them to vote for politicians that oppose wars, or maybe for pacifists instead!
Harvard is a relatively liberal institution when compared to the average American, but it is also extremely selective. Due to this, there is an overrepresentation of affluent and highly intelligent people, both of which make people classed as “liberal”.
The students are liberal
With all due respect to conservative institutions, let’s take a look at some examples of how liberal Harvard is. For instance, in 2016 Harvard hosted an event titled “The Health Benefits of Chocolate.”
Participants discussed everything from why chocolate can be healthy for you to tips on how to use cocoa products to reap these benefits. They also shared recipes with chocolate-covered fruits and vegetables!
Harvard isn’t just about studying hard though; they have fun celebrating academic success as well. A student organization called Acolade was formed in 2010 to celebrate excellence in learning through entertaining events.
These include talent shows, scavenger hunts, and even ice breakers during study groups where participants discuss what topic most people agree or disagree on.
The professors are liberal
Many people associate higher education with conservative ideologies, but this is not the case at all at most major universities. At many schools, your political ideology may even be an important factor in what courses you can take and where you are allowed to study.
Most academic departments have several faculty members that go out of their way to include diverse perspectives in their classes. This includes having instructors who teach about social issues such as politics, religion, and philosophy. All too often, these teachers get attacked for being “political” or “biased.”
This isn’t always because they want to make sure every student is exposed to different viewpoints, but rather so students will realize there aren’t just two sides to any issue. A lot of times, however, it’s simply due to poor communication between university administrators and staff.
There was an article written by The Guardian back in 2014 about how some Harvard Business School professors were barred from teaching certain material due to their Jewish heritage. While this seems very targeted towards one group, the author said it was mostly caused by anti-Semitic remarks made during class.
Another example came when Professor Bret Weinstein was told he could no longer discuss abortion in his sociology course. He was eventually able to find another instructor position, but only after he agreed to change his lesson plan.
There are many different types of liberals
Liberals believe in social justice, open dialogue, and equality for all. Social Justice looks at how our society is structured and aims to fix any systems that may be unfair or discriminatory towards marginalized groups– especially those with more privilege. For example, if a group of people is given access to better health services than others, then additional healthcare resources should be made available to them so that everyone has equal access.
Open Dialogue means creating conditions where individuals can express themselves freely without fear of censorship or punishment. This also includes having open conversations about things that may not necessarily have positive results but deserve respect as an expression of free speech.
Equal Equality means ensuring that no one is treated differently because of who they are, including gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomics, and other characteristics. Equal opportunity does not mean giving every individual the same chance to succeed, but it does mean offering the same opportunities to all.
There are also many different types of conservatives
Conservatives and liberals have become very polarized political ideologies. On one end you have what is typically referred to as conservative ideology, and on the other end you have liberal ideology.
Conservatives believe in less government regulation, lower taxes, nationalistic ideals and an emphasis on individualism over collective good.
Liberals believe in more government regulation, higher taxes, international collaboration and an emphasis on community building over individual success.
These terms may seem pretty clear-cut, but there are lots of things that are considered part of each ideological group. For example, most people consider President Donald Trump to be a right-wing Republican, even though he sometimes uses phrases like “witch hunt” and “fake news.”
Trump clearly has his own set of beliefs, which make him ideologically unique. He likes to talk about how rich he is, so we can say with certainty that he places a strong importance on being wealthy.
Other examples of internal contradictions include someone who supports racial segregation working at a job where they meet a lot of diverse people. or someone who does not accept money from corporations works for a company that makes products that depend on consumer spending.
There are also many different types of moderates
Moderates are not just people who exist in between liberals and conservatives, but there are actually several distinct categories within this middle ground.
There are liberal centrists or progressives, conservative centrists, libertarian centrists, centrist socialists, and democratic socialist.
Liberal centrists believe that social welfare programs should be preserved, but they want to reduce government intervention in business and finance. They may also oppose some forms of universal healthcare.
Conservative centrists agree with most aspects of liberalism, except perhaps for the degree to which they prefer centralized over decentralized control.
Some examples of conservative centrism include supporting Medicare-for-all, free college education, and income equality. However, they might disagree about whether taxes need to be raised on the rich.
Libertarian centrists are similar to libertarians in their opposition to big governments, but they tend to emphasize personal autonomy and freedom over economic inequality.
Centrist socialists believe that social justice requires more than just an expansion of individual freedoms, it needs strong governmental regulation and action as well.
There are also many different types of students
At least half of all undergraduates at Harvard do not identify as liberal or conservative. According to an article written by Christina Allen for The Daily Beast, only twenty-two percent of surveyed students identified with the term “liberal” while thirty-three percent called themselves conservatives. Twenty-eight percent did not label themselves either liberal or conservative.
This is not to say that these individuals are not politically aware. One third of those who chose not to classify themselves into a political category said they were actively involved in politics, one was elected student body president, and another organized protests against Trump.
Some people may choose not to be labeled due to their personal beliefs. For example, someone who does not believe in raising taxes could call themself libertarian instead. This person might oppose government intervention in business, but would still want adequate funding for social programs.
Another reason some people may opt out of labeling themselves as either liberal or conservative is because they feel there is no such thing as pure morals. Someone who opposes abortion will probably not consider herself pro-choice since she believes most abortions are morally wrong.
There are also many different types of professors
At Harvard, there is what they call an “advanced education.” This is typically referred to as the “liberal arts” or the “humanities.” These include things such as English, history, art, and literature.
These fields help you learn about important concepts in life by studying how great people influenced others. For example, reading Tolstoy will teach you something about why some individuals struggle to live with strong moral values.
By learning about past civilizations, you get insights into what worked and what didn’t work for helping groups of people thrive. You can then apply this to our own society today.
The humanities at Harvard emphasize social justice, which means teaching students about issues that affect marginalized groups in society.
This includes topics like racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, and other forms of oppression. Social justice courses sometimes even focus on controversial subjects like capitalism and communism.