By Justin Buckner
As a student at Chapman University, I have come across many different types of people from a variety of backgrounds. Never have I attended a school with such a wide range of diversity. The university excels at attracting people from all over the world. Though, while concentrating so much on making their student body appear diverse, Chapman has let intellectual diversity falter, especially in the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts.
I am a conservative student in the film school. I was never outgoing about my beliefs because I was consistently the only right-leaning student in my classes and wanted to be accepted by my peers. Politics would be brought up and, when I would provide a different perspective, I would be shouted down by students and professors alike. I fear the lack of intellectual diversity at Chapman has created an environment where it is no longer acceptable to hold conservative ideas on campus. We have seen this reflected through the “cancel culture” perpetrated by the student body and The Panther.
There was a petition demanding the campus to remove busts of important historical figures such as Ronald Reagan because they “do not reflect the ideals of the University.” This is a smack to the face to all modern conservatives by implying that the Republican Party has no place on campus.
Higher education is the place where one goes to expand their horizons and learn from others to hopefully better themselves. However, it has turned into a liberal echo chamber intolerant of right-of-center ideas. We have liberal students who have stopped respecting the differences of their peers, and have turned to doing everything in their power to remove ideas they disagree with from campus.
Through “cancel culture,” students and faculty have tried to ostracize individuals who dare to think differently. Our freedom of speech should not be silenced because it is a minority viewpoint. In fact, that is when our speech should be most protected. The majority should not be allowed to dominate the public discourse by intimidating others into silence. Enough is enough.
Justin Buckner is a junior at Chapman University majoring in Broadcast Journalism and Documentary with a minor in Political Science. He will be serving as the president of the Chapman Republican’s Club during the 2020-2021 academic year. This opinion piece is the first of a running column written by Buckner.