College campuses aren’t a safe space for Republicans students, according to a new survey.
More than 1,500 students from 207 schools took part in the study conducted by OneClass, an online education platform.
Of those asked, 38 percent of Republican students said they sometimes feel unsafe on campus because of their political views, while less than half said they feel welcome at their school.
“Republicans are three times more likely than Democrats to feel unsafe on campus for holding their political views,” OneClass’ Jerry Zheng wrote in a statement accompanying the survey, before referencing the recent alleged attack on conservative activist Hayden Williams at UC-Berkeley last month. “The incident at UC-Berkeley isn’t unheard of. News of conservatives on college campuses getting attacked for their political views make the airwaves frequently enough to make conservatives think twice about exercising their freedom of speech.”
The survey also found Republican students are more likely to hide their political views from friends than their Democratic classmates.
Among the Republican respondents who were polled, 55 percent said they were not open with their political beliefs. In contrast, 16 percent of Democratic students said they kept their views on politics close to the vest.
“The fear of being cast with damning labels and feeling ostracized is genuine for conservatives on campus,” Zheng said. “It’s also why 55.1 percent of Republicans are closet conservatives who don’t tend to share their political orientation with their friends. For Democrats, being part of a college campus that mostly shares their views could be what contributes to feeling accepted in inner and wider circles.”
The survey comes about two weeks after a suspect in the UC-Berkeley attack was taken into custody.
Zachary Greenberg, 28, was arrested by university police March 1 after a judge issued an arrest warrant in the Feb. 19 attack on Hayden Williams, the school’s public affairs department said in a statement.
Arrest records from the sheriff’s office say Greenberg was charged with assault with a deadly weapon and attempting to cause great bodily injury.
The arrest came on the same day that officials decided to reopen the investigation, which had initially concluded a week earlier.
Williams, 26, who is not a student at the university but is a field representative for the conservative group The Leadership Institute, was approached by two men who, he said, reacted with antagonism to his signs. One of them is said to have punched Williams several times. The recruitment table was knocked over and several signs were ripped, according to a UC-Berkeley alert posted to its website. Williams told Fox News last week his attacker also threatened to shoot him.
The attack sparked outrage on social media over what many critics saw as the university’s largely muted and delayed response to the footage of the attack. Officials have bristled at suggestions the case was handled with less urgency because the complainant is conservative.
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