In response to Justin Violini’s column regarding the inactivity of conservatives around the UCSB campus (“Left-Wing Smackdown,” Daily Nexus, Oct. 26), I must say I am very insulted. Perhaps he and others need to understand the truth of the situation and the obstacles we as conservatives and/or Republicans must face in a heavily liberal environment.
Being a Republican on this campus is far from easy. It seems as though nearly every influential person or organization around here is dominated by far left individuals. The Residence Housing Association puts its applicants through interviews that almost guarantee that only non-conservatives are successful. Asking a Republican how he or she plans to promote minority hardships awareness isn’t likely to yield the answer liberals in the housing association desire. Thus, any of the housing programs put on by RHA are unlikely to be conservative-friendly. Similarly, the Arts & Lectures schedule is consistently packed with anti-Iraq war, anti-Bush and anti-Republican events. In Associated Students politics, any sort of candidate endorsement from a conservative-minded organization has proven many times over to be a death sentence.
Until this year, under the new guidance of Daniel Haier, it was absurd to expect the Daily Nexus to write appealing conservative editorials for the student population. The student radio station is even worse. We certainly can’t expect conservative views from our professors or teaching assistants, especially those in the social science departments. In fact, the adviser to the College Republicans club on campus is a math professor. If conservatives on this campus don’t have access to student government, student programs, student media or the classrooms, how does one propose political action around campus?
What it takes is infallible dedication and absolute confidence. When I was harassed last year for having a Bush sign in my window, I would’ve been a coward to take it down. When people’s Bush-Cheney bumper stickers and signs are stripped from their cars and houses, they’d be weaker for conceding. When a professor or TA blatantly uses his or her authority to preach the follies of Republicanism, the conservatives in the classroom would be gutless for not responding. Understandably, few students possess this gumption. Unfortunately, the brave and diligent conservatives are far outnumbered.
In spite of these considerable challenges, Republicans on this campus have continued to promote their cause. This year we have led a campaign to register more Republicans to vote than ever before – even being kind enough to accept Democratic registrations while doing so, something the Campus Democrats were unable to reciprocate. Just this week, intensive planning and preparation on behalf of Republicans produced two on-campus events featuring conservative films, and several other events are being planned for upcoming quarters. Our assiduous services have been lent to a conservative politician or judge in every local campaign, one statewide race and, of course, the vitally important bid for the re-election of President George W. Bush. The College Republicans meet weekly to, in part, discuss how to further our presence on campus and within the community. With the number of active club members steadily growing, so is our political involvement and so it will continue until conservative ideals are as firmly established on campus as the ideologies of the left are currently.
Republicans on this campus certainly have a long way to go. Nobody will refute that idea. However, to suggest that we’re not active and that Violini is our sole representative on this campus is a terrible insult to the countless hours spent furthering the conservative causes on campus and around the UCSB and Isla Vista communities.
Patrick Callahan is a junior political science major.