The dominance of liberalism on college campuses has been well documented in recent years, especially in the classroom. But there is a more subtle way the Left is advancing its agenda outside the classroom, and it is coming directly from the pockets of students and parents. A new report by the Capital Research Center (CRC) examines the prevalence of "public interest research groups" or PIRGs, which operate on college campuses nationwide, and receive a portion of their funding from mandatory student fees.
Michael Watson, one of the lead researchers for the CRC report, says these PIRGs have been operating on campuses for years, ostensibly for causes in the public interest. "Student public interest research groups receive student fee money, which in a lot of cases is not ultimately going be taken out of the kids' pocket, it's going to be taken out of mom and dad's pocket," he tells KTRH. "That money is going to subsidize advocacy and community organizing for liberal to far-left policies on college campuses."
The issues deemed in the "public interest" by many of these groups just happen to be partisan causes. "Environmentalist priorities like wind and solar energy, Democrat voter registration, and probably most importantly restricting free speech in elections, especially of businesses and conservatives (by pushing to overturn the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision)," says Watson.
The report estimates that millions in mandatory student fees are funneled by schools to these PIRGs every year, often without the knowledge of students or parents. "They're advocating, and they're part of a very large left-wing advocacy network nationwide that has tens of millions of dollars at its disposal," says Watson. "There are two groups of people who need to be made aware of this----students and parents."