Warren Wilson College, a school known for attracting liberal students, is seeking to recruit conservative students in effort to "broaden [their] appeal to those with all kinds of worldviews." Other college and university leaders claim that the 2016 election serves as inspiration for this initiative and they are also fearful that "their institutions are disconnected from conservatives who make up a majority in much of the country."
President of Warren Wilson College, Lynn Morton is concerned with "the impact on all students of not having enough people around who may challenge their view." According to a recent survey at the college, only 23 percent of its college seniors have had conversations with people of differing political views than their own. While she believes that "there is no need for us to apologize for being a place known as welcoming to LGBT students, or concerned about human rights or sustainability," "conservative perspectives should also be viewed as an asset in interactions inside and outside the classroom."
Although the college won't add a question to their application form, they have public discussions on the issue and are more actively recruiting students from rural high schools in the counties that tend to have more conservative families. They are also emphasizing specific programs, such as their music program - which has a traditional music concentration - to appeal to students who have known "fiddling, clogging, bluegrass, banjo and more” from a young age.
Not everyone is comfortable with the new recruitment effort, including some alumni who are "proud of the college's progressive reputation;" especially when conservative speakers are invited to visit the campus. Nonetheless, Morton belies it's a "good opportunity to talk about the issues...a chance to have another perspective for students to hear, regardless of whether they agree."
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