Considering the nation’s divisive political climate, it’s no surprise that NYU’s own ideological quarrels highlight disputes between much of the student body and campus conservatives. As a minority among the student body, Republican students’ views are often overshadowed by NYU’s left-leaning culture and are not well-known outside of the NYU College Republicans meetings.
With the White House on their side, NYU Trump supporters have a powerful ally despite being outnumbered on campus. Although she isn’t completely on board with all of Trump’s policy ideas, LS freshman Audrey Cunningham voted for Trump due to a lack of options.
“I respect that he is doing the things he promised on the campaign trail, because that’s not something we see a lot from politicians,” Cunningham said. “Do I agree with all of those things? Not necessarily.”
Although NYU’s Trump supporters might not support all of his actions, they voted to Make America Great Again for him for various reasons. Cunningham and LS freshman Bennett Kaufman cite taxes and jobs, while Tisch senior Jack Joseph supports Trump for ideological reasons.
Within Trump’s first 40 days, his actions have already caused concern among liberal and conservative students alike. Kaufman has some reservations about Trump’s first power moves in office.
“I think there’s been some things that he’s done well,” Kaufman said. “I mean he’s been trying to follow up on his campaign promises, but there have been some things that haven’t gone well, like the travel ban, and he’s said some dumb things, which isn’t exactly what I wanted to see.”
NYU’s generally antagonistic attitude toward the current administration has prompted some Republican students to feel defensive of their political beliefs. Joseph believes that many of NYU’s liberal students will eventually shift their political allegiances.
“The way I see it, these students, they’re going through a phase, they’re going to grow out of it in a few years,” Joseph said. “And this whole fighting fascists or what they perceive to be fascism, it’s fashion to them. It’s LARPing. They want to fight the mythical dragon or the Nazis that don’t exist.”
On the other hand, Cunningham believes these challenges to her political ideology have led her to take an academic approach to political discussions.
“I feel like I need to be more socially aware and politically aware to be able to back up my views,” Cunningham said. “Everyone should.”
As inclusive as NYU is, she believes this election seems to have marginalized Republicans on campus.
“We are a school that should embrace diversity, but I feel like when that comes to political views, that’s not the case at all,” Cunningham said.
Joseph, Cunningham, and Kaufman all identified different issues as their highest political concerns. Their varying priorities testify to the range of conservative views on campus.
As the Trump administration embarks on what will surely be a bold tenure, the on campus minority of students that support him find themselves in a prominent position despite their small numbers. Only time will tell what lasting impression this administration and their supporters will have on NYU’s campus.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, March 6th print edition. Email Alyssa Kelly at [email protected]