Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


Not all of the activism taking place on college campuses is from the left. Small but well-funded right-wing political actions are bobbing up in the wake of progressive activity. A few examples:

  • Across the country, conservative groups are challenging the use of student fees to fund progressive campus organizations. Back in 1979, a student suit against Rutgers resulted in reduced funding for the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG). Since then, similar attacks on the funding of progressive student groups have occurred on campuses from New York to California. In several states, the battle has moved to the legislature: In 1993, for example, a complete ban on student groups with an ideological agenda was beaten in the New Jersey legislature by only one vote.

    One right-wing paper published a poster of Bart Simpson shooting a slingshot with the words “Back off, Faggot” below.


  • Right-wing campus publications (many patterned after the infamous Dartmouth Review) have fought to roll back past progressive victories. Examples listed in a report by the University Conversion Project include: The Stanford Review promoting a movement to bring back the university’s Indian mascot, replaced in 1984 by the cardinal; the University of Iowa’s Campus Review publishing a poster of Bart Simpson shooting a slingshot with the words “Back Off, Faggot” below; Penn State’s The Lionhearted printing a cartoon of a bikini-clad body with the face of a female student who’d condemned misogyny in the school’s mainstream paper; the Dartmouth Review attempting to have the school’s sole gay studies course canceled; and staffers at MIT’s conservative journal Counterpoint trying to convince businesses to stop advertising in the school’s progressive paper. About 50 prominent right-wing campus publications are affiliated with the Madison Center for Educational Affairs, which, in turn, is supported by grants from corporations and conservative foundations. Last fiscal year, the Madison Center contributed $84,000 to network papers for operating costs alone.
  • In April, anti-PC student activists from around the country went to Harvard to ratify the Cambridge Declaration, a document attacking multiculturalism, affirmative action, and diversity seminars. Supporters described the event as the conservative equivalent of the 1962 launch of Students for a Democratic Society in Port Huron, Mich.

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate