by Ethan Cai
A Dartmouth newspaper found that only three percent of seniors at the school have a favorable view of President Donald Trump.
Student-run publication The Dartmouth posted its Senior Survey in early June, detailing various opinions and trends for the graduating class. This annual survey includes the seniors’ political leanings and preferences.
“I remember right after Trump was elected, it seriously felt on campus as if someone had died” Tweet This
The survey found that only three percent of Dartmouth’s class of 2019 had a favorable view of President Donald Trump. This is down from 2018, where still only six percent of graduating seniors had a favorable view of Trump.
Favorability toward the Republican Party as a whole has decreased, as well. While only 13 percent favored the GOP in 2018, even less favored it this year, polling at around four percent.
Dartmouth’s conservative student organizations suffered a similar decrease in favorability during the last year, from their already low campus ratings. Favorability toward The Dartmouth Review, the school’s conservative newspaper, fell from 14 to six percent, and favorability toward the College Republicans fell from 14 to just nine percent. Liberal student groups received the opposite response in attitude — with the College Democrats’ unfavorability rate falling from 14 to 12 percent from the 2018 to 2019 graduating classes.
As Campus Reform previously reported, Dartmouth Democrats are reluctant to befriend, date, or even trust a conservative.
The 2019 senior survey also gathered information regarding the graduating class’s future plans.
When asked in which field they wish to end up 10 years after graduating, “Government/Politics” was the most popular response for graduating students, accounting for 15 percent of total responses.
“I remember right after Trump was elected, it seriously felt on campus as if someone had died,” Dartmouth 2019 graduate Catherine Rocchi told The Dartmouth. “People were wearing black and speaking to each other in very hushed tones, if at all.”
“Most of campus was really broken up about it, and some classes were even canceled,” fellow 2019 graduate William Jelsma remarked about Trump being elected. “Most of campus was really broken up about it, and some classes were even canceled. I remember even one of my professors saying that it was the worst day for America since Reagan was elected.”
Jelsma went on to detail his frustrations with Dartmouth’s political climate, saying that “sometimes on campus it becomes a lot less of having well-reasoned discussions about the reasons people believe the things they do and more about vilifying the other side.”
Dartmouth’s 2019 commencement speaker, famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma, even took indirect jabs at Trump during his speech.
“I’ve seen too many people who choose to build walls rather than bridges,” he said to applause. “Sometimes, it’s because of the arrogance of their certitude, or because of simple, blissful unawareness. Sometimes, it’s because of their ego or self-deception. And sometimes, it’s a deliberate act of revenge. Other times, it’s the primal, addictive pursuit of conquest—conquest of all kinds.”
As detailed by Dartmouth College Republicans Chairman Daniel Bring, conservative speakers are not always met with the same welcoming attitude.
For example, Bring told The Dartmouth that when the College Republicans brought conservative writer David Horowitz to campus, protesters held signs saying “defund racist Republicans” and “attack[ed] the speaker’s personal life.”
“I think the reason that a lot of students aren’t so receptive — especially on the left — is because they don’t really investigate these things on their own. They get them from the news media and from their peers,” Bring pointed out. “We want people to have difficult questions. We want to encourage the community to have conversations even if they’re difficult, even if they’re serious and about personally important issues.”
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Ethan Cai is a campus correspondent for Campus Reform.
Photo “MAGA Hat” by James McNellis. CC BY 2.0.