A recent national survey showed that 63% of around 300 University of Nebraska-Lincoln students who responded said they have withheld an opinion about a controversial subject for fear of how their peers, professors or administrators would react. In light of this, The Daily Nebraskan asked students their thoughts on how comfortable they are sharing their political beliefs at UNL.

These questions included:

  • If you’re comfortable stating, what is your political party?

  • Do you feel comfortable sharing your political beliefs at UNL?

  • Why do you feel comfortable or uncomfortable sharing your political beliefs at UNL?

  • Is there anything you think UNL could do to make people feel more comfortable sharing their political beliefs on campus?

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Edgar Estrada, junior human development major.

Edgar Estrada, junior human development major, Democrat

Is there anything you think UNL could do to make people feel more comfortable sharing their political beliefs on campus?

“Working a little more on diversity and inclusion at UNL, maybe that would make people feel a little more comfortable sharing their political views. I know sometimes it feels like people on campus lean more one way than the other.”

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Noha Algahimi, junior chemical engineering major.

Noha Algahimi, junior chemical engineering major, registered Democrat, but falls more on the leftist side

Why do you feel comfortable sharing your political beliefs at UNL?

“I am typically around people who are inclusive and understanding and willing to engage in respectful dialogue. I also feel like a lot of the thinkers here on campus are open-minded and open to looking at the world from different perspectives.”

Is there anything you think UNL could do to make people feel more comfortable sharing their political beliefs on campus?

“I think UNL should emphasize and heighten the importance of human rights outside of political parties, because I think a lot of the issues come in when people encroach on others’ rights or existence in whatever way and that’s where a lot of disrespect comes in. So, I think as a university we should really focus on making sure that everyone regardless of race, religion, sexuality or whatever feels included and important.”

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Conor Barnes, graduate student, school of natural resources.

Conor Barnes, graduate student at the School of Natural Resource Sciences, Independent

Is there anything you think UNL could do to make people feel more comfortable sharing their political beliefs on campus?

“Probably just reinforcing the message that different political opinions are welcome and fostering an environment where people can get together and have these debates, and making sure that they’re civil debates. I think one issue is that we see them turn into shouting matches sometimes, and it’s not productive when that sort of thing happens. Sitting down and getting together and talking and listening is something that we talk about a lot, but it’s a lot harder to do in practice.”

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Mali Krosschell, freshman biochemistry major.

Mali Krosschell, freshman biochemistry major, Republican

Why do you feel comfortable sharing your political beliefs at UNL?

“Because I feel like it’s a campus that accepts all different kinds of political beliefs, but also all kinds of beliefs in general, like religion.”

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Ryan English, senior mechanical engineering major.

Ryan English, senior mechanical engineering major

If you’re comfortable stating, what is your political party?

“I don’t abide by a political party. I think we’re all very much in the center of both political parties.”

Why do you feel comfortable sharing your political beliefs at UNL?

“Everybody’s different and everybody has their own opinion, and I have my own opinions and they’re backed up by a lot of facts and reasoning. So,I feel like I’m able to talk about it in a very educated conversation about political beliefs.”

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Bailey Donovan, freshman pre-health major.

Bailey Donovan, freshman pre-health student, Republican

Why do you feel comfortable for the most part sharing your political beliefs at UNL?

“I never want to step on anyone’s toes and how they feel because everyone’s allowed to have their own opinion.”

Is there anything you think UNL could do to make people feel more comfortable sharing their political beliefs on campus?

“I feel like it’s pretty good right now because everyone has an understanding that everyone has their own beliefs and that’s okay.”

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Rohan Thakker, senior computer science and economics major.

Rohan Thakker, senior computer science and economics double major, Democrat

Is there anything you think UNL could do to make people feel more comfortable sharing their political beliefs on campus?

People feel ashamed to share their political beliefs sometimes because they are uncertain on whether or not they’re going to get harassed for it. So, making sure that people are mostly comfortable sharing their political beliefs. I also think that the administration sometimes has a negative approach to some people sharing their political beliefs as compared to others.”

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Zoe Keese, sophomore Biochem major.

Zoe Keese, sophomore biochemistry major, Democrat

Is there anything you think UNL could do to make people feel more comfortable sharing their political beliefs on campus?

“I think like taking more of an administrative stance on things like the [Alpha Gamma Rho] incident with the Black Lives Matter signs would make a lot more Huskers feel safe on campus. I guess addressing other racism incidents like that would just make a more inclusive campus as a whole.”

news@dailynebraskan.com