By Chris Cassidy
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Emily Hall, a 20-year-old native of Clinton, Conn., says professors and students at Harvard often broached Trump’s victory as if a horrific tragedy had taken place and spoke of creating support for Clinton backers.
It ain’t easy being a Republican at Harvard, and certainly not in the era of Donald Trump, according to Emily Hall, an unabashed conservative at the world’s most famous university.
Hall, a junior who’s majoring in government, watched the presidential election results come in at Harvard’s Institute of Politics, once again finding herself in the minority while stunned Hillary Clinton supporters openly sobbed with each victory racked up by Trump.
“I felt bad for them,” Hall said of her liberal schoolmates. “But I also recognize that people would not have felt bad for me if I had been the one crying.”
“I’ve experienced both tolerance and intolerance, depending on who I’m talking to,” Hall said during interviews with both the Herald and Boston Herald Radio yesterday.
“There are some places where discourse is welcome. There are other circles and other individuals I’ve interacted with who have not been so tolerant, who have been open and willing to call Republicans racist or sexist or xenophobic.
“I think that intensified with Trump,” she said.
Hall, a 20-year-old native of Clinton, Conn., said professors and students often broached Trump’s victory as if a horrific tragedy had taken place and spoke of creating support for Clinton backers.
“Had Hillary won, I don’t know those same sentiments would have been extended, because the assumption was the majority of everyone in the room were liberals and were Democrats,” said Hall. “It was just disheartening to me.”
There have been other examples of well-meaning liberal professors not presenting balance in their lectures, she said.
“They want to include conservative perspectives in the classroom, they just don’t know how,” said Hall. “And I think they may not even realize that what they’re teaching has a liberal bent to it, because there are so few conservatives there to actually challenge that.
“I think that often people will teach things in a way that I guess doesn’t showcase the other side … Maybe because they haven’t seen someone who actually articulates the other side to them, they don’t realize there is an intelligent other side,” she said.
Hall said that liberal group-think at Harvard has created an environment where some Republicans don’t bother speaking out.
“I’d say there are a lot more that are openly Republican and conservative,” she said. “I think people tend to be less politically active when they’re conservative, just because there are so many fewer people who actually identify with those beliefs on campus.”
But there have been promising signs of late, she added.
Hall has started a group on campus for conservative female students, called the Network of Enlightened Women — and it’s since received official recognition as a student group by Harvard.
She knew Harvard leaned heavily leftward when she first hit the Cambridge campus — and was even jokingly warned before she left home not to lose her conservative principles in the land of liberals.
Still, she admitted, her first months at the school were a “culture shock.”
“It’s been a good thing for me because I’ve learned a lot about how to defend my beliefs,” she said.
“I absolutely respect people who have liberal beliefs, but I think they need to expose themselves to the other point of view as well and they need to listen to the other side and be able to argue back against the other side.
“We have a government that’s almost completely controlled by Republicans right now,” she noted. “If they ever want to regain control … then they need to understand the other side and be able to argue succinctly and intelligently against the other side.”