Elite Colleges More Likely To Have Tent-Cities, Research Confirms

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, May 30, 2024 - 04:45 PM

Authored by Matt Lamb via The College Fix,

Pro-Palestinian green tent cities are more likely to pop up at elite colleges with students from high-income families, new research suggests.

Washington Monthly recently published an analysis that looked at pro-Palestinian protests, including encampments, and found they were clustered among institutions with a lower percentage of Pell grant recipients. Those grants go to poorer college students, so they serve as a good proxy of the overall income of enrollees.

“Pro-Palestinian protests have been rare at colleges with high percentages of Pell students,” the article reported.

“Encampments at such colleges have been rarer still. A few outliers exist, such as Cal State Los Angeles, the City College of New York, and Rutgers University–Newark.”

The authors, Marc Novicoff and University of Tennessee Professor Robert Kelchen, said in a “vast majority of cases,” campuses with poorer students “have not had any protest activity.”

They offered several reasons why this might be.

“They may have off-campus jobs and nearby family members to see and take care of,” the researchers wrote.

The students might be sympathetic to the cause, but not place a high priority on it.

The authors wrote:

They might sympathize with the protesters—a nationwide poll of college students in May found that 45 percent support the encampments, 24 percent oppose them, and 30 percent are neutral. But in the same poll, only 13 percent rated conflict in the Middle East as the issue most important to them. That was well behind health care reform (40 percent), educational funding and access (38 percent), and economic fairness and opportunity (37 percent).

This might lead students working “a low-paying job” to be “unlikely to devote what little free time they have to protesting about an issue they don’t see as a high priority.”

Politically inclined students might be more drawn to colleges such as Columbia University, with a history of activism.

The article also looked at the political leaning of the student populations, using data from the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, and suggested less liberal campuses might be less friendly to pro-Palestinian activity.

“Whatever the cause, the pattern is clear: Pro-Palestinian protests are overwhelmingly an elite college phenomenon,” the article concluded.

Professor William Jacobson commented on the findings at his Legal Insurrection website.

“[The ‘elite college phenomenon’] doesn’t make the Red-Green Alliance among elites any less dangerous. Terrorist groups in the west traditionally have been drawn from the wealthy and the elites,” he wrote. “These may be dangerous people, but they are elite dangerous people. This is not a mass working class revolution.”