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Conservatives on liberal campus

This year, it's official: Mills has the image of being one of the most liberal colleges in the nation.

In August, the Princeton Review listed Mills as one of the prestigious "122 Best of the West" and characterized its student body as extremely liberal. Mills placed first in the category "Students Most Nostalgic for Bill Clinton."

Three Mills students shared their viewpoints with The Weekly in opposition of the Princeton Review's description of a typical Mills woman.

Freshwoman Karolyn Meno, who is from Colorado, has viewpoints that clearly do not fit in with Mills' liberal image.

"My views tend to be on the conservative side," said Meno.

Mills also placed eleventh in the category "Students Ignore God on a Regular Basis," yet many Mills students are deeply religious. Kristine Langains, a conservative sophomore nursing transfer student from Minnesota clearly does not fit into that category. Langains identifies as a Christian whose conservative politics are heavily influenced by her roommate from her last college, St. Olaf College, whom she said was a "hard-core Jesus Freak."

"Being conservative means believing in God the Creator," said Langains.

She says that since transferring to Mills a few weeks ago, she has tried to discuss religion with other students, but no one is interested in the subject.

Princeton also cited Mills as one of the "Most Politically Active," yet many conservative students do not feel part of the political conversations at Mills.

Kyra, a first year grad student and Mills alumna who declined to give her last name, said it is easy to avoid political discussions at Mills because she is a commuting student-not that she's interested. She said she speaks her mind less at Mills, especially when it comes to politics. "People who consider themselves the most liberal can be some of the least tolerant when it comes to dealing with opposing viewpoints, in my experience," Kyra said.

Meno, however, holds strongly to her views. "I don't see any reason why I should keep my mouth shut if others are sharing their opinions," she said. "Everyone's perspective should be given the same amount of respect."

"The most difficult time…to do this…is in the classroom," said Langains. "The professors here at Mills are very liberal and actually tend to 'diss' everything I believe in on a daily basis … I can see that people would get pretty angry if I said what I believe."

Langains explained that she "chose Mills because I knew it was a liberal campus. What better place to share my beliefs than a place that believes opposite? I just didn't realize how rude people would be about it."

In spite of Mills' image as a liberal campus, Meno is content with her decision to attend Mills.

She said she chose Mills because it is far from her home state and small. She is also optimistic about campus politics: "Since I only just got here and had not been to campus before freshwoman orientation, I haven't really found my niche… but that will come with time. I think I made a good choice."