Olivia Anderson, a junior in animal science pre-med at Texas State University, experienced first hand how difficult it has become to be a conservative on the campus recently. After the controversy surrounding Student Body President Connor Clegg, Anderson spoke at the public forum hosted by the Student Government Association for students to attend and express their opinions on the matter.
“I knew what Connor did was not right, but glorifying Rudy wasn’t okay either,” said Anderson.
Anderson is referring to Rudy Martinez, who published the infamous column “Your DNA is an abomination”. From Anderson’s perspective, the student body was right in saying Clegg represents Texas State University, but failed to accept the University Star does as well. During the public forum, it is apparent when the audience hearing Anderson’s statement becomes hostile. Nine minutes and 25 seconds into the video published on the Texas State University Student Government Facebook, Anderson approaches the podium, not to defend Clegg, but point out the hypocrisy.
“Rudy Martinez wrote an article and I have yet to hear an apology from him,” said Anderson before the audience erupted, shouting her down and making it difficult to hear the rest of her statements.
Directly after the forum, a group of individuals approached Anderson in a threatening demeanor. Her boyfriend was so concerned for her safety he pleaded with her to leave before the student senate meeting, which was held directly after, had even begun. Some of the backlash Anderson has received since the forum is direct messages on social media — forcing her to privatize her account.
Since that night, Anderson has also been spit on as she left class, but because she did not see the individual well enough to be confident in identifying them, she did not report the assault to the police. Anderson believes the type of individuals who approached her after the forum or spit on her after her class do not care whether there are witnesses to their bullying or if a conservative individual is alone. According to Anderson, they are angry and beginning to resort to violence.
Anderson remarked that she definitely expected the backlash she received and believes that is why so few conservatives speak up. When asked if she believes the faculty on campus treat conservatives as equals, Anderson stated they don’t even pretend to.
“I’ve had professors laugh at and make jokes about conservatives during class,” said Anderson.
Anderson believes that due to high political tension on campus, more conservatives seem to be coming out on social media.
“We are the silent majority, and we need to stop being silent,” said Anderson.
Between professors ridiculing conservatives and peers assaulting those who disagree with them, Anderson claims there are many conservative students who are unwilling to stand up and voice their opinions. She stresses these individuals should not have to face these fears and concerns.
“I’m just standing up for my beliefs, and I hope more people start to,” said Anderson.