Submission Date


Document Type

Paper- Restricted to Campus Access


Media & Communication Studies

Faculty Mentor

Doron Taussig

Project Description

Research suggests that some right-leaning students tend to self-censor in college classrooms and campuses, denying both themselves and their classmates the potential educational benefits of honest, open dialogue. But little research has examined why conservative students make the decisions they do about whether and how to express their political views. To explore this issue, I interviewed twenty self-identified right-leaning college students from three colleges/universities in southeast Pennsylvania about their thoughts on and experiences with political expression on campus. This paper offers insights into how these conservative students determine when and whether to express their political beliefs; their recollections of their direct experiences with doing so; their perceptions of the boundaries of acceptable debate in college; and their beliefs about their professors’ and peers’ perceptions of them. I offer recommendations for how discourse on campus might be conceived or approached differently by various participants.


Presented during the 22nd Annual Summer Fellows Symposium, July 24, 2020 at Ursinus College.

A related presentation is available here.


Available to Ursinus community only.