Friday, April 28, 2017

Roommate Discrimination

This is somewhat disappointing. A survey at Dartmouth College found that students who identified as Democrats are much less willing to room with someone who doesn't share their political views than are any other students on campus.

In the campus-wide field survey, students of all political identities were asked how comfortable they would be about the prospect living with a roommate who holds opposing political views. Of the 432 students surveyed, only 39 percent of students who identified as Democrats said they would feel comfortable living with a Republican while 45 percent, a plurality, said they felt uncomfortable.

A majority of students who identified as Republicans (69 percent) said they were comfortable living with someone of opposing political views and only 12 percent said they felt uncomfortable....Among Independent students, 61 percent said they felt comfortable living with someone with opposite views, and 16 percent were uncomfortable.

I'm not sure what to make of this. Does it mean that Democrat students are more likely to disdain fellow students who disagree with their politics? Does it mean that they're more insecure in what they believe and don't want it challenged by a roommate? Does it merely mean that Republican students don't take politics as seriously as do Democrats? Or does it mean that Republicans are such a minority on campus that they can't afford to be choosy about the politics of their roommates lest they find themselves rooming alone?

In any case, I wonder what the media narrative would be if a poll revealed that white students were uncomfortable rooming with minority students or that Christian students were uncomfortable rooming with Muslims. I'm pretty sure such a poll would be viewed as an indicator of bigotry and hatred on the part of the uncomfortable students and deemed by the university to be totally unacceptable. It would probably warrant mandatory sensitivity classes for the hapless offenders. So why shouldn't the actual poll be seen the same way?