Today, NeW honors Cassandra Wellman, a graduating senior from the University of Florida. During her time as a NeW leader at UF, Cassandra has participated in national and state NeW events. We asked her a few questions about her involvement and experience in NeW. Congratulations, Cassandra, and thank you for all you've done to expand NeW in the Sunshine State!
How long have you been involved in NeW?
Did you hold any Leadership Positions?
What has been the most rewarding experience during your involvement in NeW?
I've enjoyed my entire time with NeW! I loved meeting like-minded women because finding conservatives on a college campus is difficult! I think one of my favorite experiences was when we went to Tallahassee to talk to female state representatives and explain to them more about NeW. I loved getting to meet conservative women who were involved in politics. The whole atmosphere in Tallahassee was amazing, and it was the first time I started getting interested in state politics along with federal politics.
What is something you learned in your NeW Book Club?
One of the greatest things I learned in NeW was why I am a conservative. I always knew how I felt about political and social issues, but reading Letters to a Young Conservative by Dinesh D'Souza really helped me understand why I have conservative beliefs. It also reaffirmed my conservative values, which is extremely beneficial on a college campus that constantly tries to make students disregard any conservative principles they might have.
Also, our policy analyst Jean did segments on our former First Ladies at some of our meetings, and I thought learning about their lives was fascinating, since you usually only learn about Presidents.
Do you plan to stay involved in the conservative movement and/or politics after graduation? If so, how?
I would love to be involved in the conservative movement after graduation. I want to get involved with a local conservative or Republican group wherever I decide to live. I'll definitely be one of those people who volunteers during election years to try and spread the conservative message. I'm not sure about politics, though =). Maybe sometime in the future, but I don't see myself actually working in politics anytime soon.
What advice would you leave to younger members of NeW?
The best piece of advice I could give would be to not be afraid of getting involved and hosting conservative events. Don't be discouraged if your campus is mostly liberal (mine was too) and your views are in the minority. Also, I think that having strong relations with other conservative groups on campus can create fresh ideas and bigger and better events.
Some special remarks from Holly, former fellow NeW Gator:
"Cassandra is a bright conservative woman, and being a math major, she brought a fresh, unique perspective to our weekly NeW meetings. She was eager to lead and build her knowledge of conservative principles. She added so much to discussions, and I learned so much from her insight."
Cassandra (2nd from right) at 2010 CPAC poses with Phyllis Schlafly and other UF NeW ladies.