Only 50 percent of King's students identify as "conservative"
Financial District, NEW YORK– After Dinesh D’Souza’s resignation, King's students are voicing concern over the ultra-conservative image some say D’Souza cast over the school. A recent poll shows that more students care about the college's faith than its politics.
Luke Trouwborst (’14) was quoted in the New York Times saying King’s students are a lot more moderate than D’Souza, and a survey of students’ political views shows this is true. In an anonymous survey of 100 students (roughly 18 percent of the student body), only 50 percent of King’s students identified themselves as "conservative".
This is a high percentage when compared with other universities, but this also means that 50 percent of students don’t identify with former president D’Souza’s political camp. The second and third place political ideologies were libertarianism with 22 percent of students and liberalism with 12 percent.
According to the survey, 81 percent of students believe Dinesh D’Souza contributed significantly or very significantly to the perception of King’s as a specifically conservative school. Nevertheless, the reason for students’ concerns about D’Souza contributing to the college’s conservative image is less about the conservatism and more about the College's mission.
“Since Dinesh D'Souza was such a political and controversial figure, his presidency reflected a very extreme right-sided view. But instead we should be focusing on presenting King's as a strong Christian college,” one student commented in the anonymous poll. This view was prevalent among students who began attending The King’s College in the past two years, during D’Souza’s tenure.
Another student said, “He didn't affect my decision at all. I knew briefly of his political endeavors but really saw King's as a school that provided a unique course map and a community that allowed for spiritual growth.”
Only 25 percent of these students said D’Souza’s presidency positively affected their decision. Some said a speech by Dinesh D’Souza at an Inviso visit weekend convinced their parents King’s was the right choice. Others said they first heard about the college when they saw D’Souza on a news channel.
“As a school that wants to be on the forefront of engaging and affecting positive change on our culture, the choice of Dinesh D'Souza was wise. People know him as a social mover and having Dinesh as President reflected our mission as a school,” another student commented.
Although King's identifies strongly as a conservative school, amplified by D'Souza's career, most students believe the College's most defining elements are its commitment to God and its mission to transform strategic institutions through the truths of Christianity.
As one student observed: “We are foremost a Christian school. Having a large conservative population is a mere by-product.”