Liberal bias on college campuses can take place in a number of ways, but perhaps there’s no greater avenue to change campus culture than through student affairs.

New research from Samuel J. Abrams, professor of politics at Sarah Lawrence College, has found that liberal student affairs leaders outnumbered conservatives by a shocking 12:1 ratio.

Student affairs administrators often oversee several services, including academic advising, admissions, orientation, and “campus life,” or the recreational and leadership needs of students. This is where Greek Life, Veterans Affairs, Residence Life, Activities, and Diversity and Inclusion departments are all housed. It is the Student Affairs administrators that make decisions which shape the campus environment.

Abrams’ desire to conduct a survey about the political bias of Student Affairs officials came from his own experiences with a “politically lopsided” student affairs program at the college where he teaches. Abrams noticed many “overtly progressive events” being sponsored by Student Affairs, with names like “Stay Healthy, Stay Woke,” “Microaggressions,” and “Understanding White Privilege.” Of course programming that offered a meaningful ideological alternative was never offered, he says.

This anecdotal hunch was spot-on, as his study found overwhelming bias in the 900 “student-facing” administrators he surveyed from across the country (both from public and private colleges and universities both large and small, and two- and-four year institutions). In fact, only 6 percent of administrators indicated they were conservative versus 71 percent identifying as liberal or very liberal.

Abrams wrote in a Washington Examiner op-ed:

“While considerable focus has been placed in recent decades on the impact of the ideological bent of college professors, when it comes to collegiate life — living in dorms, participating in extracurricular organizations — the ever growing ranks of administrators have the biggest influence on students and campus life across the country.”

Most colleges now operate on a 24/7 learning model, where resident assistants teach about "white privilege" in the dorms, dining halls warn of "cultural appropriation," and wellness centers (or the campus gym) preach about "sustainability." These residence life staffers, chefs, and physical trainers, among other university employees, are well-meaning yet lack the educational background to direct academic exploration.

Under the direction of largely liberal campus administrators, these programs push a liberal agenda which creeps into a student's consciousness without even being presented as political opinions or theories inside of a political science class. While students spend approximately 18 hours in the classroom per week, most live on campus and spend considerably more time inundated with programming put on by Student Affairs.

Furthermore, this political hegemony of campus administrators creates a liberal bureaucracy often unfriendly to conservative students. Campus life administrators often oversee the funding of student groups, including political ones. They also process requests to reserve table space on the quad, who can use "free speech zones," or when a protest on campus can be scheduled. If a conservative student is targeted by a liberal professor because of their political beliefs, it is campus administrators who are supposed to serve as a check and balance. While administrators should not impose their political opinions in making such decisions, they often do and some admit as much.

While other studies show professors to be equally as politically analogous, Abrams sums the campus indoctrination factor up nicely: "While not every college and university is dominated by this out-of-touch administrative class, the data make it clear that when they are, it can be very problematic. ... College is a significant investment, and you need to be challenged and pushed by professors, to grow and reach your full potential — not coddled by administrators."