***Editor’s Note: This article was published as part of the satirical April 1, 2015 issue
Wellesley presents itself as an institution that welcomes and cherishes diversity: bring yourself — whoever you are — and there will be a place for you here, an admissions brochure proclaims. However, for all the pandering Wellesley does to the ideals of acceptance and diversity, there are still groups on campus that have no place in the mainstream of Wellesley culture. These marginalized groups have been oppressed and silenced for years and it is finally time to say enough is enough.
As a country we are on the cusp of reforming our immigration system, recognizing same-sex marriage in all states, and potentially (will she run, won’t she?) electing the first woman president of the United States.
It is time for the Wellesley campus to catch up to the times and eradicate the last semblances of oppression. It is time for the creation of a Republican safe space.
Conservative students on Wellesley’s campus tend to stay in the shadows, occasionally surfacing when the College Republicans decide to sell some cool swag or Lilly Pulitzer has a sale too great to resist. In classrooms, professors assume that no student would be ignorant enough to hold conservative views. On the rare occasion that a student espouses an idea that could be considered Republican, they are met with condescension or told to “check their privilege.” The microaggressions endured by conservative students across campus are largely ignored by the community as a whole. There is no outlet for conservative students to come together and discuss the shared experiences of the group which is detrimental to helping young Republicans develop and cement their identities.
Although the Wellesley community seems to think that having a Wellesley College Republicans group is enough to meet the needs of this marginalized group, many conservatives feel exposed trekking to a meeting in a public space where their views might be overheard by some of their classmates. Clad in Vineyard Vines, David Yurman bracelets, and L.L. Bean boots, the group is pretty hard to miss.
Some students refuse to assume the risk of social ostracism that could ensue if their friend group found out their conservative leanings. As a result, conservative students often have to bear the psychological effects of bottling up their beliefs and pretending that they, too, want to hold hands and sing kumbaya around the liberal campfire.
Conservatives simply want a physical space where they can feel emotionally and physically safe. All students are requesting is a place where they can drop the f-bomb (fiscal responsibility) without receiving dirty looks — a place where students can sip mimosas while talking about trust funds and those Mitt Romney dubbed the 47 percent. Is that too much to ask for?
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