Hell freezes over: Conservatism 101 at UVA

Few would argue that our universities and colleges throughout the nation are bastions of liberal/progressive ideology. Small groups that attempt to express conservative ideas are often harassed or suppressed by administration, faculty, and radical student groups. This keeps groups like FIRE pretty busy. According to this story (from the Daily Caller), there might be a new trend starting on some campuses.

An accredited course on conservatism at the University of Virginia debuting this fall could set a trend on campuses across the country, organizers say.

The 11-week course, referred to as Conservatism 101, aims to inform students of all political persuasions about the figures and thinkers who have built modern conservatism and to dispel stereotypes. Unlike many courses, it will be taught by several lecturers over the course of the fall semester to give students a host of different perspectives.

Topics include whether or not the Founding Fathers were liberal or conservative, libertarian philosophy, and Ronald Reagan, among others. It has proven so popular that a second section of the class might be needed.

“It’s a perspective people need to hear that really gets left out,” said Wes Siler, a former leader of the university’s Burke Society, the campus conservative group responsible for enacting the course.

Courses on conservatism have been held at other universities, such as American University in Washington, D.C. and George Mason University in Virginia, but they have never been proposed as a template for courses at other academic institutions.

Siler hopes to get at least 20 similar classes started at colleges and universities across the country and has been talking with professors around the country with an interest in teaching the course at their university. He has his sights set on large state-affiliated schools such as the University of Texas and plans to get at least one course on conservatism at a school in each of the 50 states.

Those in academia are constantly proclaiming the glories of “diversity.” Unfortunately, colleges and universities are often woefully lacking in diversity of thought. Perhaps this will change that condition. Kudos to the Burke Society for having the will and determination to bring this to fruition.


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