My university experience so far…
University for me was my ultimate goal. From an early age, I knew that university was where I wanted to end up. I had great expectations for it, particularly my course which was – naturally for me – Politics.
What I ended up seeing was roughly what I expected, but still shocked me nonetheless. My first semester as a Politics student was essentially spent discussing culture, with the main elements discussed being Marxism, Structuralism and Post-Structuralism. These I found interesting and also quite unbiased; I often criticised some of these concepts and I was not immediately shut down or ridiculed for my views by the lecturers, despite one of them openly admitting they were a Communist.
This may all seem quite reassuring; it was at first. That was until we got onto topics such as gender theory, with the teaching having what I would describe as clear holes in it. The teaching suggested that, as gender theory evolved, this was merely a better understanding of the facts at hand. For example, Judith Butler’s theory of performativity: the idea that a person ‘performs’ their gender, and that by extension, gender is merely a social construct and has nothing to do with biology. This was taught more as fact than it was as opinion. Pushing back on this idea, I was met with “you just don’t understand” from both students and lecturers. Instead of a different opinion on gender, and a reasonable one at that, it was treated as ignorance.
Furthermore, the Student Union were militant in their actions before the lockdown, notably going as far as banning beef. I kid you not – they banned beef from all of the shops on campus due to its environmental impact. Now, I’m all for reducing emissions but to impose such a ban is something I certainly didn’t expect.
Fast forward to the tragic killing of George Floyd… my Student Union immediately endorsed Black Lives Matter. In fact, at this very moment its Facebook cover photo is #BlackLivesMatter, with various posts advising on reading materials and anti-racism resources. Surely the Student Union, an organisation set up to help students complete university and facilitate organisations from all walks of life, should be impartial.
The Student Union even went as far as to support the prevention of sales of British-made riot control equipment to the US. It also created a template letter to be used to write to MPs, made several posts on how to be an ‘ally’ and ‘How To Be Actively Anti-Racist’, which included classifying the phrase “Make America Great Again” and anti-immigration policies as covert ‘white supremacy’.
The Student Union has, in my year of being there, never supported a conservative movement or promoted a single conservative argument.
My first year at university has taught me a lot. How to get to a 9am lecture whilst only going to bed at 6am, how to complete a 1,000-word essay in three hours and – most importantly – the value of coffee. However, it has also unearthed just how prejudiced campus society is as a whole to conservative viewpoints, taking a far-left approach to the majority of issues.
University is supposed to be for everyone, but at the moment it isn’t for conservatives.