Friday, April 09, 2010

New course on conservatism at U Virginia

Students demanded it and made it happen at UVA. Virginia Gazette CHARLOTTESVILLE -- Conservative college students across the country are met with faculty and administration not simply in disagreement with them but openly hostile to their principles. But after a year's struggle, a group of students working with at the University of Virginia have successfully placed a class on conservatism in their school's catalogue, and they expect the 40 seats available to quickly be filled.
 "The idea originally came about when we found out that our university annually sponsors a class called Modern Liberalism," said Wes Siler, a student activist leader at UVA who worked with fellow students Rick Eberstadt, and Keenan Davis to start the for-credit course. "We thought, 'Why not balance the spectrum and have a class devoted to Modern Conservatism as well? 
As news of the course spread on campus, the student planners received responses from 11 professors eager to support their endeavors. The class is currently scheduled to seat 40 students, but based on early interest the limit may be raised to 100.
 "More than 40 students quickly joined a Facebook group we made for the course – and this happened before we began any official promotion. There's clearly a high demand from many students on campus for an education in conservatism," said Eberstadt.
 Over the summer, the three students plan to encourage students at other universities to host their own class on conservatism, contacting them through, an online hub for conservative and libertarian student activists.
 " has been very instrumental in our success," said Eberstadt. "The Campus Reform staff has provided us solid support and guidance throughout our fight, and we hope to work with them to make this a national movement."
 The students are optimistic about these plans based on their success at UVA. "There is a huge need for students to hear the different perspectives of conservative belief and the ideas that are normally disregarded in the university classroom," said Siler. "We are changing this at our university, and we hope to inspire students around the country to do the same."
 The course will be worth two credits and meet once per week. The syllabus features a wide variety of authors, including Edmund Burke, Russell Kirk, Fredrick Hayek, Milton Friedman, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush. These authors and public figures, the students say, represent a canon of political and social thought that does not receive serious consideration in much of academia today. ...

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