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For much of the late 20th century, USC has had a reputation for being a politically conservative campus. In the politically charged times of the 1960sâ€“70s, and in stark contrast to the University of California campuses, USC was one of the few campuses in California where then-Governor Ronald Reagan could visit without additional protection. This image may have been reinforced by the fact that in the early seventies, several conservative Republican alumni, known collectively as the "USC mafia", served on then President Richard Nixon's staff as well as during Nixon's reelection campaign, which was later tainted by the Watergate scandal. In the 1960s, the corrpution between conservative factions in student politics was noted in the screenplay for All the President's Men; the term ratfucking originates from that period. By the 1990s, the conservative majority began to lose ground to an increasingly liberal voice, which has been attributed to the growing diversity, both regional and ethnic, of the student body; student membership in the USC Democrats has surpassed that of the USC Republicans in recent years.
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