Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass wants to maintain its liberal identity

Diversity of thought is needed on campus
(Collegian file photo)
(Collegian file photo)

At the University of Massachusetts, we have a very diverse campus with people from all walks of life. There are people from all over the globe converging at this institution to grow, learn and become functioning members of society. This common goal is something that unites the student body, though we often forget that.

In 2018, our nation is divided by politics. It’s no secret that the majority of students on the UMass campus categorize themselves as liberal, which means, at least here, politics unifies us instead of dividing us. UMass has been a majority-liberal campus for a long time. The administration knows it, the professors know it and so do the students. But are these left-wing political views being imposed on the entire campus?

On any given morning, students can grab a coffee and a bagel at the Procrastination Station, located on the first floor of the W. E. B. DuBois library. The lines are usually about a five to 10-minute wait, which leaves plenty of time to glance up at the several flat-screen televisions hanging from the walls. But every TV just so happens to be playing the exact same station. CNN runs on those TVs all day, every day. There has yet to be a time where I’ve walked in and seen anything other than CNN on those screens.

Every informed and aware citizen understands that both CNN and FOX News have political agendas to fulfill. CNN’s agenda is liberal, and the network will seize almost any opportunity they have to criticize President Trump and the GOP. The same can be said for FOX: The network’s agenda is conservative and it will defend the president in almost any situation. Without completely succumbing to either station’s propaganda, the best way to stay informed is to take the information on each station with a grain of salt. So, why wouldn’t the Procrastination Station have both sides of the political coin equally represented?

There’s no doubt in my mind that if you asked employees at the Procrastination Station to change the channel to FOX or any other station, they would. Though it’s no surprise that CNN is the default news outlet on a liberal-leaning campus. Too often, people watch the news station that supports their own political beliefs without even tuning in to the other side. It gives them a sense of reassurance that their own political compass is spot-on and that the other side is utterly wrong. But what about those who haven’t found their political stance yet? It would be a shame if we formulated a lifelong philosophy based solely on the media we’re exposed to.

And it’s not just the Procrastination Station either – many speakers who come to UMass possess a left-wing ideology. When I attended the Feinberg Series lecture earlier this semester, Rev. William Barber II of the NAACP had no trouble projecting his compelling liberal views to a cheering audience. But the fact that left-wing voices are more frequently than not the ones preaching to these crowds is a little concerning. Maybe if students were shown another side of the political argument, they’d be able to make better-informed political decisions.

If the University focused a little more on a balance of opinion, instead of on solely-liberal ideology, maybe we’d see a lot more conservative voices come out of the woodwork. However, the University may not want that since, if more Republican students voiced their opinions, it could threaten the societal norm of a liberal campus. If the University can keep a majority of its students believing relatively the same ideology, then there would be no reason to divide.

But the University is mistaken: Difference of political opinion would not destroy our unity. As young adults, we should understand that politics doesn’t need to seep into every aspect of life and if it does, there’s something wrong. Just because two people have clashing political views doesn’t make them enemies.

At the end of the day, there is no room for hate at UMass. As long as there is respect, empathy and dignity present on both sides, there’s no way the unity of our UMass student body could be destroyed.

Brendan Lally is a Collegian columnist and can be reached at [email protected].

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  • A

    AmyOct 24, 2018 at 1:31 am

    I am not a conservative so your insult doesn’t really offend me. I thought your joke was a little funny but it sounds like sort of a joke a 45 year old would say that he thinks is funny and chuckle at himself because it’s slightly edgy.

    CNN is biased but I never brought that point up; just what is already known by some. They pay areas with public exposure money to show their cable network.

  • T

    TylerOct 22, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    Agreed, we need a diversity of thought

  • H

    HancockOct 22, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    Amy. We need to get to the bottom of this. If the Procrastination Station is truly in the hands of CNN (what I call the Crappy News Newtwork) we need to mobilize against this. I can’t believe this university sometimes. I’m thinking about starting a group called the Frontal Assembly of Rejuvenated Conservatives (FARC) to end liberal censorship once and for all! What do you think?

  • A

    AmyOct 22, 2018 at 11:20 am

    CNN is the default because they pay umass to broadcast their station; it’s an open secret that CNN pays universities, businesses, airports,etc that have TV’s in an open spot to show their station, that way it ‘boosts’ their rating.

    Umass has only become mor e extreme and liberal. Umass is supposed to be a public college, not a political institution yet that’s exactly what it is and doing so it waste the tax payer’s money and also abuses and exploit their money as well as the money of students who pay tuition to umass, the majority who are not liberal. Only about 11 percent of the population identifies as liberal. They are just so loud and crazy and here at umass, they seem to be a much bigger number.

    Stayed tuned to my student bill of rights that is going to be voted on.. one of the things in it will make Umass accountable to the public so that it can’t keep abusing student money and taxpayer money.

  • S

    SittingBullOct 22, 2018 at 11:17 am

    It has been the same way for decades. Then you go out into the real world and gain some perspective, and it really takes the luster off of much of what you have learned and experienced in the bubble. There always has been an agenda at work at UMASS and other liberal institutions. The poisoning/distortion of the mind that occurs when only one viewpoint is presented and consistently reinforced. In some places it’s known as propaganda. It is purposeful because there have now been 2 full generations of people who have been exposed to this agenda, and there is no wonder why so much tension and disagreement exists in the world at large. University is supposed to be about diversity of ideas and viewpoints, and development of critical thought. Instead there is diversity of skin color and religion, and a huge echo chamber of Groupthink. You are right to recognize the incongruity but make no mistake, it is done entirely be design. And look at what it has brought us.