A new survey out of North Dakota State University (NDSU) discovered that the majority of liberal-minded college students are not proud to be American.
The survey was released by NDSU’s Challey Institute for Global Innovation and Growth and focused on the role that colleges are playing in promoting free speech and tolerance of diverse views. In one section of the survey, students across the country were asked whether they were proud to be Americans.
57 percent of liberal students said that they are not proud to be Americans, while 73 percent of conservative students said that they are. The majority of “independent/apolitical” students, 59 percent, said that they are also proud to be Americans.
The survey also found that students with more conservative viewpoints are less likely to perceive a college classroom as a climate that is open to diverse points in comparison to their liberal counterparts.
66 percent of liberal students reported that they “feel comfortable” sharing their opinion on a controversial or sensitive subject during classroom discussions. 58 percent of conservatives said that they do not feel comfortable.
Based on their political ideology, students similarly perceive whether a professor creates a classroom environment where people with unpopular views can share their opinions. 72 percent of liberals students said that their professors create comfortable environments, while 54 percent of conservative students said no.
The survey also asked questions about students’ perceived optimism about the future of the world. 51 percent of students reported that they believe the world has gotten worse or there has been “no change” over the last 50 years.
“According to a wide range of indicators (e.g., life expectancy, income, access to food, access to education), life is getting better for people all over the world,” the survey reads. “Yet, surveys suggest there is growing pessimism in the U.S. about the present and future of our society, and perhaps especially among younger generations.”
The survey uncovered that a majority of students have a negative view of the U.S. and capitalism, and many feel that their professors and universities have a negative view of the United States as well.
Only 11 percent of students said that their college classes gave them a more positive view of the U.S., while 45 percent said that they gave them a negative view. A plurality of students, 44 percent, said that they have a negative view of capitalism. When broken down by political ideology, 61 percent of liberal students said they have a negative opinion of capitalism.
When asked their opinions on socialism, nearly half of students, 47 percent, said that they believe socialism can solve poverty and climate change while most said that capitalism cannot.
70 percent of students said that their professors have an unfavorable opinion of capitalism as well.
The survey directors, John Bitzan and Clay Routledge told Campus Reform that they were able to identify actionable steps that the university can take to combat the perception that free speech is only available to liberal students.
“Results from this survey suggest that U.S. colleges and universities can do a better job in educating students on progress that has been made, in enabling a climate that is open to a competition of ideas, and in giving students confidence in their own abilities to make a difference in the world,” the duo said.
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