Despite religious affiliation, MU leans to the left

Two words: Liberal Bias

Could these words ring true at Marquette; a private, Catholic Jesuit University? A place where drug, alcohol and visitation policies are enforced, theology courses are required and some believe a candidate’s deanship was rescinded last spring because of sexual orientation?

According to, an organization that offers advice and guidance to conservative groups on college campuses, they do.

In an ongoing study regarding political affiliations of the nation’s top 100 universities, CampusReform found that 80 percent of all donating Marquette faculty gave to Democrats in the 2008 Presidential election. The study similarly found that 53 percent of the Board of Trustees members did the same.

Emily Cochran, CampusReform’s regional field coordinator for Marquette, said on the website that the university’s liberal leanings are also evidenced in past harassment to the staff of the conservative student newspaper, “The Warrior.” She said members of the newspaper “often have been targets of malicious messages and egged homes.”

Like the students, Cochran said, Marquette faculty is equally subject to political discrimination. As an example, Cochran cited a 2007 occurrence in which a professor in the Philosophy Department told a graduate student that he was not allowed to post a politically conservative quotation on his office door.

The quote, “As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government,” was removed from the student’s door for being “patently offensive.”

John McAdams, professor in the Political Science Department, said he easily believes the study’s findings.

“Of course the faculty of Marquette University leans to the left,” McAdams said. “Academia in general does. There is a major ‘diversity’ problem in higher education, and it’s the lack of conservative voices.”

McAdams said he is concerned about how the university’s perceived liberal bias will affect susceptible college students.

“The bias matters,” McAdams said. “College faculty does have some ability to indoctrinate students. A lot of studies show that. The people most vulnerable to indoctrination are those who come to college without much interest in politics or political knowledge.”

McAdams said Marquette is not much worse than other places in terms of bias, but the problem is that it is not much better.

In a CampusReform news release, Morton Blackwell, founder of the organization, said many of America’s colleges and universities are dominated by liberals.

“Marquette University is no different,” Blackwell said in the news release. “Too often, the campus ‘left’ uses its power to indoctrinate the next generation.”

However, some question whether CampusReform is using the study to push its own political agenda.

Andrea Tarrell, senior in the College of Arts & Sciences and president of Marquette’s College Democrats, said she believes some of the CampusReform’s findings contradict the conclusion. For example, the website states that the number of conservative organizations on campus outnumber liberal, four to two.

Tarrell also said the article speaks of conservatives feeling “censored,” but liberals have dealt with similar censorship in the past. The liberal group Fair Wisconsin, a group fighting for LGBTQ equality, was prevented from forming on Marquette’s campus. Additionally, the student organization Empowerment has faced resistance in trying to bring “The Vagina Monologues,” a series of monologues focusing on women’s sexuality, to campus.

“Empowerment has been trying for forever to get ‘The Vagina Monologues’ on campus and it is always a huge struggle for them,” Tarrell said.

CampusReform has presently conducted their study on 69 of the 100 top nationwide universities.

Of the 69 schools, only one, Brigham Young University in Utah, has been found to not be liberally biased.

“I’m glad CampusReform is promoting dialogue about political issues,” Tarrell said. “But I hope that all MU students who visit the website look beyond the hollow rhetoric and form an opinion based on the facts.”