If "counterculture" means fighting the status quo, then nobody on today’s college campuses is more radical than the outspoken conservative student. They face ridicule, censorship and bullying from scornful classmates and faculty, all because their worldview is different from the prevailing politically correct orthodoxy.
High-profile comedians including Jerry Seinfeld have given up performing on college campuses, conservative speakers have been disinvited from addressing students and strident demonstrators have increasingly demanded that those who disagree with them be silenced. But not all of their classmates agree, and some refuse to keep their opinions to themselves.
FoxNews.com interviewed five college conservatives who aren’t afraid to speak their minds, even if doing so carries a price.
"I was called a 'Race traitor'"
Dominique Blair is finishing her freshman year at Cerritos College, in Norwalk, Calif., where she started a Turning Point USA chapter, and says she’s been bullied not only for her views but specifically for being African-American and conservative.
“I spent three hours being berated and taunted… I was called a "race traitor," "Uncle Tom" and "coconut" by black students.”
She recently came under fire just for attending a speech conservative writer Ben Shapiro gave at UCLA, she said.
“One student shouted directly at me, ‘God is black. You will have to face him one day and repent for supporting Ben Shapiro.’”
The hostility to her politics has not dissuaded Blair from conservative activism.
“We table with conservative literature, attend political events and engage in discussions about economics and government policies,” she said.
"Intolerance toward conservative ideology"
Liberal students and faculty were likely thrilled when Hannah Oh graduated from California’s Claremont Mckenna College in December. While in school, Oh headed the Claremont Independent student newspaper and opposed demands for “safe spaces” on the grounds that they coddle students and “protect” them from viewpoints that they should hear.
As a result, leftist activists on campus labelled Oh, who is Asian, a “Shady Person of Color” in some of their documents.
“There’s definitely disdain and intolerance toward conservative ideology among members of the far left academic community – both students and faculty alike,” Oh told FoxNews.com.
During her time on campus, Oh also wrote in defense of a dean who was forced to resign for saying the university needed to do a better job serving students who “don’t fit our [Claremont McKenna] mold.” The dean intended to express a desire to help minority students, but activists charged that her words implied that minorities didn’t “fit the mold.” She resigned amid angry protests.
Impeached for his conservative views
Jacob Ellenhorn is president of the College Republicans at USC (University of Southern California) and was impeached from the student Senate because classmates said his opinions are hostile to theirs.
“It's getting out of hand to say the least,” Ellenhorn told FoxNews.com. “When I entered college I knew that it would be liberal. I didn't know the extent. I would have never imagined that I would have been impeached from student senate for my views.”
Ellenhorn said he was impeached after his College Republicans group brought Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos, an irreverent right-wing firebrand, to campus to speak. Although he was permitted to serve out his term, he was denied a $250 stipend that goes with service in the student Senate.
Professors at USC are overwhelmingly liberal, said Ellenhorn, but remain civil compared to students.
“I am noticing that students are becoming far worse than even the most leftist of staff members… so much so that they try to shut down the speech of others,” he said.
Ellenhorn believes websites focusing on victimization are partly responsible.
“Students seem to be driven by online websites and Twitter personalities who perpetuate the absolute ridiculousness we have been seeing. Vox, Buzzfeed, and Mother Jones all perpetuate the ‘snowflake,’ ‘social justice warrior’ culture.”
Gender debate at all-women's college
Christian Costa, who just completed her freshman year at the all-women Meredith College in Raleigh, N.C., served as the National Co-Chair of Students for Carly, a group that backed the failed bid of Carly Fiorina for the Republican presidential nomination.
But Costa’s complaints about liberal intolerance on campus are not based in politics, but in the gender debate that has engulfed the state. North Carolina’s “Bathroom Bill,” which restrict people to using the public restroom linked to their birth certificate sex, has engendered widespread controversy.
“I found it shocking that many of my professors didn't think gender is biological,” she said. “You have to be biologically and self-identifying as female [to go here] so how can you believe gender does not exist?”
Costa was angered when a "safe zone" sign was posted on a bathroom door on campus, with a message implying that people identifying as transgendered were welcome to use it.
“You better believe I would have serious issues with my ‘questioning’ male professors being in the bathroom with me,” she said. “That does not make me feel safe. At all.”
Students "coddled," easily offended
Anna Bauch is a junior at Chicago’s DePaul University who is involved in College Republicans and Turning Point USA. She said the College Republicans recently got in trouble for writing “Trump 2016” in chalk.
“The messages were erased by the next morning, and many students began complaining,” she said.
Although the club had carefully read and followed school rules about chalk messages, they still got in trouble with campus administrators.
Anna said that her grades hadn't been hurt due to her views – as far as she knows – but that professors had advised her against writing on sensitive subjects.
“I have had professors tell me that certain paper topics would be "difficult" to write about, such as advocating for the Second Amendment and calling out race-baiting from the left,” she said.
Bauch suspects the over-sensitivity stems from fellow students being taught they have a right to not be offended.
“I think students have been more coddled and get offended more easily now than in the past 10 years,” she said. “I think my generation feels entitled and would rather complain about student loans than work harder to get better scholarships and make more money.”
The author, Maxim Lott, can be reached on Twitter at @maximlott