By: Jason Anderson
Over the past 20 years Northern Virginia has shifted from a dominant Republican party presence to that of the Democratic party with a 28% increase in Democratic representation in the Virginia House of Delegates per bluevirginia.us.
So what does this mean for Shenandoah University?
Conservative and Liberal representation is fairly even amongst the students at Shenandoah, yet it still seems that Conservative students feel underrepresented.
I was raised in a very Conservative-dominated region in Central Kansas and I felt fairly excluded in political discussions in my first semester of classes here, so I wanted to dig deeper into the topic and pick the brains of a few fellow Conservative students.
Sophomore Sean Kelly said, “My experience has been fine as a mostly conservative student.”
When asked if he felt excluded in class discussions about politics Kelly said, “I know where most of the student population aligns when hot topics come up so in most cases I’ve found it beneficial to just stay quiet when those conversations come up.”
Evan Argiro also mentioned that his experience as a Conservative student at Shenandoah has been fine.
Argiro stated that he does not feel excluded, but he generally does not participate in political discussions
Argiro said, “I do hear a lot of different opinions about all kinds of things, and even though they don’t pertain to things I like or things I believe in, I still listen to what they all have to say.”
A very popular topic for political debate today is gun control and Kelly mentioned that this is one topic that he tends to avoid at all costs.
Kelly said, “I come from a household that raised me on the importance of guns and ones right to self-protecting in our society.” He continued, “Most people instantly react with fear and hate when this discussion comes up and do not look at the facts, so I prefer to stay quiet and keep my opinion to myself unless directly asked.”
Conservative students’ overall experience at Shenandoah seems to be collectively unaffected by their political views, but may feel uncomfortable participating in classroom political discussions.
Source for fact stated in lede: https://bluevirginia.us/2019/11/maps-depict-virginias-changing-political-geography-over-the-year s