Original. Student reported. Your daily dose of Right-minded news and commentary from across the nation
Intolerance at Cornell: After my Fox News appearance, bullying and threats began. It got so bad I sought counseling.

Many found it acceptable to be hateful toward me because they perceived me as ‘hateful’

It is difficult to express conservative views as a college student without being called names, attacked personally, or even threatened by peers. I know because I’ve lived it.

The worst came after I appeared on Fox News in May to voice alarm over a new course at my Ivy League institution that deeply criticized Donald Trump while venerating Barack Obama.

“Based on the syllabus it doesn’t seem like a fair conversation,” I said about the new government course offered this past fall at Cornell called “America Confronts the World.” The syllabus accused Trump of xenophobic nationalism while describing Obama as a pragmatic cosmopolitan.

“If I were to walk into the classroom I don’t think I would feel comfortable expressing my views. I am somebody who likes to take a fair stance. I think it’s important that we are critical of the president but we also recognize the good that he’s done. I don’t think that would be encouraged in this class.”

Asked by the Fox News host if there is an overwhelming liberal bias at Cornell, I said yes.

“When you have a professor telling you what is right and what is incorrect rather than having the students decide for themselves, to research beyond the headline and analyze the situation, I think they just take whatever the professor tells them and they are not able to see the indoctrination,” I said.

“Being a conservative, or even being a moderate, is a very difficult lifestyle here,” I added, explaining that I was stepping down as an RA because my superiors bristled at my right-leaning politics and my insistence that RA meetings present students with both sides of any issue.

“Her professors may see that segment, good luck to her,” one of the Fox & Friends’ hosts had said as we ended the interview in what became an ominously prophetic closing.

I had done the interview, not to show support or disagreement with any particular person, but to show the ridiculousness in comparing eight years of Obama’s presidency to the first 100 days of Trump’s term.

While I expected disagreement from many Cornellians for my views, I was mentally and emotionally unprepared for the backlash, name calling, and threats to my physical safety.

Some peers called me “hateful” for being critical of the course, even though I never attacked the professor’s character. Others suggested I was bigoted, even though they had never met me.

One threat I received was over Facebook messenger, where someone said that they wanted to hurt me. Considering that Cornell University’s College Republicans president had been physically assaulted right after Trump was elected — shoved to the ground and called a “racist bitch” — threats around here are no joke.

MORE: Cornell student assaulted for being Republican

But that wasn’t all.

The Cornell Daily Sun campus newspaper published an article largely critical of my Fox News appearance that also gave the impression conservatives and liberals on campus were against me.

After talking to some people quoted by the Sun, I found that their quotes had been taken out of context and misused in a deceitful way to make it seem as though they were more opposed to what I said.

Some comments from peers on the Sun’s Facebook page about the article referenced “fighting” to defend the professor teaching the controversial course, and I interpreted it as them wanting to physically fight me. In retrospect, perhaps that is not what they meant, but at the time it was an emotionally charged issue. I was apprehensive.

I stayed in my room for days because I wanted to avoid campus. Even though there were a lot of messages of support from home, I grappled with the fear of not being accepted or respected simply because of my views, of being mocked and taunted, and possibly even attacked.

This past fall semester the stress — and trouble — had remained.

I’ve been stalked, but I am unsure whether that is related to appearing on Fox News and my views. Regardless, it’s difficult.

Underscoring that, I’d feel nauseous and extremely nervous when I had meetings with professors or students, even if nothing bad came out of those meetings.

At one point, I considered unenrolling and finishing my remaining course credits online. Instead, I ended up seeking help from a therapist.

Today, I am in a much better mindset now, though still a work in progress, and I understand that my opinions are just as valid, given that I have also spent a lot of time on research and reflection.

As somebody who has faced so much unpleasant behavior and words from others, one would think that I would support hate speech bans. However, I believe that banning hate speech suppresses those with unpopular ideas, like mine. Moreover, who determines the hateful rhetoric, and where do we draw the lines?

From my situation, many found it acceptable to be hateful toward me because they perceived me as “hateful.” What hypocrisy.

But I am not alone in my struggle. Many people holding views similar to mine will likely not express their beliefs in the classroom or on campus out of fear of facing the isolation and threats I faced. This becomes a disadvantage for college students as the entire point is to learn about various ideas.

Threats to safety should be reported. But when it comes to hateful speech, a better approach is having more respectful conversations. We don’t have to agree, but a civilized conversation helps us understand the various views that exist and build the tolerance needed for the real world.

MORE: Cornell students hold ‘Cry In’ over Trump victory

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About the Author
College Fix contributor Neetu Chandak is a senior studying communication at Cornell University. She writes for several news outlets and also serves as treasurer for Cornell's Network of Enlightened Women. Her interests include higher education and cultural issues.

Add to the Discussion

  • TechDel

    It’s 1984. We have reached peak hatred, intolerance, and indoctrination.

    • Dusty Thompson

      Not yet. The ctrl-left anti Americans live in a bubble and that bubble will eventually need to be popped, with extreme prejudice. The crying Liberals are just the beginning.

      1984 is a user guide for the ctrl-left.

  • Char Sal

    Another reason why concealed carry should be allowed on campus.

    • Dusty Thompson

      An armed society is a polite society. Libidiots are not polite.

    • She’s a skittish paranoiac. I don’t want a gun pulled on me if I wave and say hi, and you don’t want her jittery hands firing off a round and hitting you by accident.

      • David Behsman

        Given the treatment that this poor girl has been put through, I highly doubt that a leftist is just going to say hi, without ill intent.

        Besides, the right to keep AND BEAR arms is a human right.

      • TexCassidy

        You are quite the skittish paranoiac if you think she would shoot you if you waved and said hi. Seek help and a cave.

      • vinagaroon

        You pathetic cuck

      • gesshooo

        So says the skittish paranoid.

      • ConnieF85

        Moron lunatic liberal idiot.

      • Char Sal

        talk about skittish paranoia you obviously know Jack and s*** about lawful concealed carry

  • Frank Tarpey

    Neetu, first my kudos on your courage to being willing to express your opinion and to not be some non-thinking compliant in our world!! I have not been in college for 30 years, but this “group think” by liberals was taking shape back then, they were just not as militant about their views. Maybe when you graduate, you will consider settling away from the coasts in the heartland where there are fewer snowflakes….

  • Captainqueue

    Cornell is a hostile environment, where liberal intolerance is expected and no bad news allowed to question their fairy lalaland existence. In 2017 during a race riot (called a brawl by the liberal media), a black student was murdered. ON CORNELL CAMPUS. Didn’t hear about it? You won’t, if you rely on the mainstream media.

  • Ed Cutting, Ed. D.

    Harassment of anyone to the right of Vladimir Lenin is pandemic in academia.

  • Dusty Thompson

    Democrats lost America’s first Civil War because they enslaved Black people. Democrats are going to lose America’s second Civil War because they attempted to enslave everyone else…

    When peaceful recourse is denied, violent redress becomes justified, it becomes manifold.

  • Byrd Westbrook

    You are a very brave and intelligent woman. Don’t let the morons get you down.

  • Jerry Shen

    Thanks you, Neetu! Be strong. Remember there are so many grown-up people behind you!

  • JimAcostaRapesPreteenBoys

    demokrat is a disease in your soul. liberal is a cancer in your brain. They are both fatal and contagious.

  • BK

    You are very brave to do what you did. Right leaning views are much more popular than you think they are – just that not enough people are brave enough to espouse them in a hostile environment. I live in the bay area and would be ostracized at work if enough people knew about my conservative politics.

    • Eric Beck

      I’m disappointed that so many of us are not willing to exercise our rights out of fear.

  • Rick Hatfield

    The one thing liberals cannot tolerate is freedom of speech from those they disagree with. Liberalism has truly become a mental disorder. We should be able to lock up those who are insane. They can’t be allowed to ruin our kids future. Those who cannot do, teach. And liberals can do neither.

  • cestusdei

    No one hates like a liberal.

  • drattastic

    Neetu you’re are smart,brave and beautiful. Real life ,after the leftist indoctrination grinder of Cornell ,will give you great rewards because you’ll truly earn them.

  • cheetahkitty

    When I attended college in the 1970s, I only recall one prof making any political comment. He taught Poltical Science and was a Rhodes Scholar, oringially from Georgia teaching at a Texas University. All he said was that he had lived in Georgia when Carter was its governor and that the country would regret it if Carter were elected. I was then and am now Conservative. I voted for Ford, but not because of what the prof said.
    I always remembered it because it was the only occasion where I heard anything remotely political in College. Too bad those days are gone. College shouldn’t be about indoctrination.

  • The frosty one

    American academia needs a thorough cleaning. A backlash against Marxism in universitites is closer than most people think. Patience….

    • ontheroadwitheric

      “A backlash against Marxism in universitites [sic] is closer than most people think.”

      I’m not so sure. People seem slow to respond intelligently when they have the time; when the limit is reached, it tends to boil over.

      Even our Declaration warned us about unchanging human nature: “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

      Frederick Douglass said something similar: “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will. Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue till they have resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they suppress.

  • Chris Pine

    WAAAAAHHHHH I think you are what Fox News calls a Snowflake.

  • Chris Pine

    What a moron, I just saw that you’re going back on Fox News??? Well that clears up what you’re trying to do. This isn’t about you having a miserable life, it’s about you exploiting a person saying a negative thing about you to get a job with Fox. First you’re a snowflake and now you’re a fake.

    • Martin P.

      Agreed, why would anyone with a brain go on Fox and Friends unless they are interviewing for a job.

      • Jeff Grann

        Yes, because the other networks you asswipe liberals watch would actually give a young conservative woman a platform to expose the Progressive hatred and indoctrination occurring on College campuses all over America. You are just pissed she has a popular outlet for her views Snowflake

        • Martin P.

          I have to agree with you about these progressive professors indoctrinating the students. My calculus professor said that the derivative of sin(x) was cos(x), my accounting teacher claimed that you debit cash and credit A/R when you receive owed monies and my physics teacher, one of the all-time worse disseminators of propaganda, claimed CO2 is a greenhouse gas. We need to get these teachers out, so they stop teaching nonsense. Hannity should come out with an online course in physics (FOX physics), then our kids would finally stand a chance against the indians and chinese.

          • alanstorm

            Liberals are so CUTE when they pretend to know what they’re talking about…

            LOVE how your examples have nothing to do with the subject at hand! Masterful deflection….

            Unfortunately for you, only other liberals buy it – mainly because they can’t look past the surface. Like you.

          • David Behsman

            Don’t get your panties in a bunch Martin. The natonalist socialists in Germany taught geometry, accounting, physics, and earth science too. And just like the “liberals” of today, they maniacally focused on race.

          • MarkS

            STEM and Accountin/Fin courses aren’t as conducive to politicization as are the softer subjects such as liberal arts classes.
            Luckily I was politically astute enough in my younger days to understand my English & Literature profs bias and write papers that confirmed their bias. Easy A’s.

    • JTNRA

      Hillary says hello….LMFAO

  • cwdeed

    What is perplexing to me is why don’t we recognize that “Creeping Communism” has taken over the former Democratic Party—-half of this country has been slowly brainwashed via liberal/progressive/communistic principles. Call it for what it is “A National Psychological Battle—Capitalism vs. Communism”. Fortunately, the education system and fake news media are running amuck with the RACE card—which ultimately will be their downfall. I was one of those Democrats who saw the light and switched my allegiance before it is too late.

  • smartone

    STILL LOL @ SORELOSER DEMOCRAPS. Trump2020.

  • jameshrust

    I taught engineering at Georgia Tech many years ago. I thought it unethical for students to know my political choices. Non ever did. This opinion no longer exists on campus with the exception of engineering professors.

  • Oldhawker

    Colleges used to be about scholarship while seeing, hearing, and having to work with people of different backgrounds and different beliefs. The great push after WWII to help returning GIs go on to college instead of immediately flooding the workforce ushered in two generations of American dominance in nearly every field.
    But that was then, and this is now. The Left has infiltrated universities, and they are not fans of, and feel threatened by, people who don’t believe what they believe. Get your education, get a concealed carry permit, and get the life you desire. Despite the efforts of the Left, this is still the best country in which to achieve personal freedom and individual success. Let the baby have Xe’s bottle, and move forward.

  • Button Gwinnett

    1) Come to Colorado.
    2) Get a CHP (Concealed handgun permit)
    3) Transfer to a Colorado university and carry on campus.

  • derfelcadarn

    Then why piss money away on useless “educations” from the shitholes. Word of the day !

  • catorenasci

    At least on elite college and university campuses, I’m not sure it was a whole lot easier to be a conservative in the late 1960s early 1970s, the era of the New Left, the Black Power movement, the Antiwar Movement, etc., not to mention acid rock (and acid), pot, the Pill, free love, and … (you get the idea). Faculties were overwhelmingly liberal then – especially, as now, in the humanities and social sciences, and all of the “cool kids” were on the left. Being labeled a conservative was the equivalent of social death in a time when we were supposed to be discovering ourselves, turning on, tuning in and, if not droppin out, at least being cool flower children until a week or two before finals…. The cool guys didn’t want to date conservative chicks (who wouldn’t put out) and the cool girls wouldn’t have anything to do with conservative guys who shaved, were terminally square, and were (at least presumably) either virgins or incompetent lovers. About the best one could do was say one was a libertarian – which plenty of the undergrads took to mean libertine, and therefore just a quaint way of saying you liked sex, drugs, and rock and roll.

    There were, then, still conservatives campuses, and conservative faculty, but if you were at most of the schools that are still in the top fifty or so liberal arts colleges or top 25 or so research universities, it often felt like the atmosphere on campus was somewhere to the left of the Gang of Four.

    Just as it does today, it took some guts to be conservative, or even classical liberal or libertarian (non-party) on an elite campus 50 years ago. Wage guerilla warfare – Who is John Galt? scribbled on walls, TANSTAAFL strategically placed. Don’t let the bastards grind you down!

  • Rick Wright

    Was at Cornell for 9 years and earned 3 degrees there. I am sorry she faced so much harassment. I also was conservative, wrote for the Cornell Review, experienced only a little of this. Sure Cornell was overwhelmingly liberal but for the most part conservatives could speak and act without getting into trouble. That started to change around 1990-91. I greatly appreciate the Network of Enlightened Women, am grateful for their example.

  • One solution is to innovate talking points that hit the leftists off-guard. For example, my preferred response to charges of ‘racism’ when bashing Obama is that I don’t despise him because he’s black, but because he got ahead and covers his butt by playing the race card is if he was descended from slaves, when he’s not, or as if he grew up in the Jim Crow south or inner city, when he didn’t.

  • DINORightMarie

    I hope the college helped you with physical safety. Their hue and cry over women’s safety on campus has been over the top – and yet you are fearing for your safety…did they help? I sure hope so.

    Also, I am thankful you sought help from a professional, since you were struggling. Hopefully the profs won’t give you grades that are unfair due to their bias and absolutely insane hate for Fox News and anything not agreeing with their viewpoint.

    Note: if you have to be so tyrannical and hateful for those viewpoints, then they are fragile, and can’t stand up to debate or examination; hence the lashing out in irrational ways. Hang in there!!

    And, thank you College Fix for giving this young, courageous woman a place to shine the light on the toxic leftism on college campuses, especially (it seems) the vaunted Ivy League institutions.

  • sorry, but she sounds like a snowflake. in her room for days? nauseous during meetings which she admits went fine on the other end?

    i don’t see the harassment. the stalking would be a problem… if we had evidence for this… but since i already know she’s paranoid the standard of evidence is going to be higher.

  • ptsargent

    Isn’t Cornel the school at which in the ’60’s the Black Panthers invaded and occupied Administration offices, held professors hostage at gunpoint, extracting “confessions” and pledges to reform what the teach tom conform to their perverse world view? And what’s worse at least one professor caved to these demadns.

  • nofreelunch

    Show me a professor with common sense, and I will show you a conservative.

    • Steve Gregg

      Show me a professor with common sense and I’ll show you somebody who does teach in the humanities.

      • hyphenatedamerican

        You truly think that professors who teach physycs, math, engineering, biology and business have less common sense than those who teach liberal arts?

        • Steve Gregg

          I meant does not teach in the humanities. In most schools I’ve attended, physics, math, and engineering have been separated from the humanities and have a different evolution. The liberal arts colleges have descended from English finishing schools for the aristocracy. The engineering colleges have descended from the German schools for teaching practical science. The modern American universities are combinations of those two.

  • TexCassidy

    Love your courage and steadfast principles. Don’t let the bullies beat you down, shame them with your dignity.

  • chris schmidt

    Truth is truth, right is right, up is up, left is left, North is North. The facts of life are conservative by nature. There is a natural order to things and there is a natural law. There are two genders. Men and women are complimentary halves of the whole being.

    This isn’t hard to defend.

    • gesshooo

      Ya can’t put a square peg into a round hole!

  • paracelsus

    With all this, Cornell still sends letters expecting donations from its alumni.
    I’m certain there are still some who give; there are many of us who won’t.

    • hawgguy

      I feel sorry for her. I receive frequent peppy correspondance asking for money.
      Not one dime. I was STEM, and it was a different generation, it really wasn’t that bad for me. Now, I’m sure I wouldn’t recognized the place. – Arts ’82

  • vinagaroon

    Liberals are like cockroachs, filthy/dirty sht eaters

  • vinagaroon

    Pretty girl, intelligent too. Want to bet those screaming liberals are ALL muzzslum or their supporters, are communists/antifa members, gays, transvestites, pedophiles, whatever. And ALL are physically ugly ghouls.

  • gesshooo

    Libs are tolerant of free speech, as long as you agree with them. Wait until these snowflakes get into the real world. Surprise surprise.

  • HaqJaqShelllaq

    I know it’s bad Latin ( more like not Latin at all), but – illegitimii non carborundum. Don’t let the bastards grind ya down. In a few months, you’ll be able to run like hell and never come back. Meanwhile, like Oscar the Grouch, these zeebs will still be stuck in their trashcans.

  • Deplorable J Covfefe III

    Is this what KwaMerika has come down to? We now import our own conservatives and nativists?

  • VictorErimita

    I challenge anyone to find a single instance of this sort of thing happening where the political affiliations are reversed. It doesn’t happen. Yet this hateful, threatening, abusive behavior by Regressives is apparently common on college campuses, and increasingly elsewhere. These people are everything they accuse others of being.

  • MileHiBri

    I remember the good ol’ days when it was “make your own bong” in ceramics class. Now you’re supposed to bong yourself I guess.

  • Rick Caird

    It is terrible to say, but the college campuses are one large echo chamber where anyone who disputes the echo is termed “hateful”, “unsafe”, or “evil” and those are just the kinder names. The campuses now contain the seeds of their own destruction. There will be a backlash. It may be merely financial in that the humanities and social sciences will find they have an abundance of professors and staff, but a dearth of students. Students are realizing they are not so much taught as indoctrinated. Graduating with this huge debt, but no education and skills is not a winning program. It is tough to pay back the debt working a menial, mostly labor job. The word is getting out that a 4 year college is not worth it. That becomes the death knell. It is ironic the University of Phoenix produces graduates more compatible with the US economy and labor market than the humanities and social science departments of Cornell.

  • hyphenatedamerican

    Conservatives need to file lawsuits.

  • hyphenatedamerican

    Conservatives need to follow the advise of Barack Obama and “get in their faces”. Any threats from liberals must be immediately recorded, documented and complaints filed to the university officials. If no measures are taken, the lawsuits must filed.

  • WalterBannon

    she needs concealed carry and 3 days on the range

    the only good liberal-nazi thug who assaults you, is a dead one

  • MichaelZWilliamson

    It’s a pity there aren’t actually any Death Camps ™ because that is the only feasible solution to the Liberal Problem.