A Day on Grounds at University of Virginia

by Taylor McCarty on August 27, 2015 · 0 comments

On Monday, August 24th, I had the pleasure of traveling from Washington, DC to the charming college town of Charlottesville, Virginia. Charlottesville is home to the University of Virginia where NeW was founded over a decade ago. I was eager to meet the women who will be leading the chapter this year. Anticipation mounted as many excited emails were exchanged about plans for the semester, how we would reach students, and how the conservative message would be shared with women on grounds.

When I arrived, I was greeted by a third year student named Nicole Johnson who was eager to recruit women to NeW. Nicole was a rockstar, standing in the blistering southern sun for three hours collecting names and email addresses from students with her pink clipboard and NeW flyers. Nicole said, “students on Grounds are not as politically active and vocal.” When asked why it’s important to promote conservatism at UVA, Nicole replied, “It’s important for UVA students to become more involved in the conservative movement to show others that not all college students are radically liberal.” Nicole is Co-President of the organization along with fellow third year, Kyle Liggan.

Nicole Johnson, third year student at University of Virginia and NeW Chapter Leader

Nicole Johnson, third year student at University of Virginia and NeW Chapter Leader

More and more women walked by, inquiring as to what NeW was all about. After sharing with students that NeW is an organization that promotes conservative ideals and intellectual diversity, many students responded with a resounding sigh of relief. Often times, conservative students feel that not only do their opinions not matter, but that they are discouraged and of lesser value than the overwhelming liberal bias that is so familiar on college campuses nationwide.

Nicole shares what NeW is all about with three first year students, and invites them to the Chapter's first meeting.

Nicole shares NeW’s mission with three first year students, and invites them to the Chapter’s first meeting.

When asked what it means to be a conservative woman, Kyle Liggan had this to say:

“Being a conservative woman is more than a political view, but also a lifestyle. It’s about being open-minded, independent, hardworking, and loving. Once we are able to bring these qualities from the home into the political environment, even greater progress can be made across the country.”

Students must never forget that college campuses are meant to be a platform to share conflicting viewpoints. Far too often, students find their intellectual growth restricted to the confines of their classrooms, being talked at as opposed to having meaningful, thought-provoking discussions. These days, universities are establishing “safe spaces” for students who feel threatened due to a viewpoint shared that varies from their own. But these “safe spaces” are nothing but a blow to students who share points of view that differ from the mainstream, points of view that are often right of center. Aren’t universities supposed to foster intellectual diversity and encourage free thought? The courageous women that make up the NeW Chapter at the University of Virginia understand this, and are ready to fight against this bias not only at a collegiate level, but on a national scale too.

As a new recruit to the UVA NeW Chapter, Kat shares why she is a conservative woman.

As a new recruit to the UVA NeW Chapter, Kat shares why she is a conservative woman.

NeW at the University of Virginia will be hosting their first meeting on Monday, August 31 at Starbucks on the Corner at 8:00pm. The meeting is open to all those who are interested in conservative values and advancing intellectual diversity.

University of Virginia is the first stop along my tour to visit NeW Chapters across the country. Need help recruiting? Planning an event? Fighting liberal bias on your campus? Email me at taylor@enlightenedwomen.org; I am looking forward to seeing not only what UVA NeW has in store, but what all chapters will be accomplishing this semester!

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