This week we have a great spotlight featuring a recently established NEW chapter at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia. E-Board members Alexis Doss, Erin Innis and Mackenzie Brown as well as their advisor Robin Morris, give us an inside look into their chapter.
What does it mean to you to be a conservative?
MB: To me being conservative means looking at things as they are and making judgments with facts, logic, and reasoning, without letting emotions get in the way of the truth.
EI: Holding and valuing traditions.
AD: Being a conservative is a part of my identity. It represents my struggles, my achievements, and how I will continue to move forward. Conservatism embodies the preservation of the past, specifically the traditions that maintain the social fabric of society. Working diligently and being an overachiever in daily activities is also at the heart of a conservative. We are hard-working individuals that contribute to the betterment of society. Additionally, values, morals, and the family are intertwined, and such interconnections have made me into the conservative I am today.
What kind of impact has your chapter had on your campus?
MB: Because our chapter is still very “NeW” we haven’t seen many big impacts on the campus as a whole. But the chapter has given some people the courage to speak up about their beliefs as well as a safe and respectful environment to share them. For me personally it has lifted a great deal of stress off my shoulders because now I can ask questions and explain my view points without being judged as Deplorable before I even get a chance to prove otherwise.
EI: We have had some backlash. Not everyone understands why we are here or they just don’t want us here.
RM: Having a chapter of NeW has pushed our campus to think more broadly about inclusion, diversity, and political engagement. I love all the women of NeW for their courage and dedication and their commitment to thoughtful engagement of issues. As someone who teaches the History of US Conservatism on campus, it is exciting for me to see students continuing to think about what conservatism means in this modern era. I am excited that on this campus, conservatism is thoughtful, diverse, and based in the work of women! I hope these students will go on to shape the national debates in years to come– and I certainly look forward to seeing some of these names on ballots soon!
AD: As President, I have been able to witness the tremendous influence we have had on campus. The administration wants to hear our concerns, address them, and then provide outcomes that benefit the social placement of conservative on a predominantly liberal campus. I have received the backing of highly influential women and my fellow students because they realize the importance of political diversity on campus. I am very much looking forward to seeing how we progress throughout the year.
What book is your chapter reading this semester? Why did you choose it?
EI: We chose “The Silencing: How the Left is Killing Free Speech.” We chose this because it seemed like it was something we could relate to at this time.
AD: This book will provide a unique insight from a self-proclaimed Democrat the hypocrisy of the left and how we as conservatives can battle this obstacle for more productive conversations with the other side. After all, our country needs both political ideologies to work together or nothing can be done. Free speech is a prevalent issue currently, and it is important to shed light on those issues so that we can be more prepared for real-world experiences.
MB: We chose this book because we saw what was happening at various protests, rallies and even at places like the DNC. People, the left, were shouting over dissenters and even when members of their own group wanted to hear what the opposing side had to say they were not allowed. Plus, there are plenty of cases in the media about how people have been discredited and demonized after speaking out. So, when we saw the title of this book on the recommended list we all knew immediately that this is the one we wanted to focus on because of its relevance to todays society and campus life.
What advice would you give someone who wants to start a chapter?
EI: Don’t be afraid. Get out there and start this amazing journey.
AD: Do not give in to the social pressures. You are unique, and that is God’s gift to you. You have no reason to submit yourself to conformity. Be the change agent of your college.
MB: Advice I would give is, “Don’t be afraid to loose ‘friends’, and never give in to the opposition.”
What does NeW means to you?
EI: A new beginning for Agnes Scott. A place where conservatives can feel free to express how they feel.
AD: NeW is the beginning of a new era on campus. We are making significant milestones, and its budding success only instills a sense of duty and responsibility in which all political voices are heard.
MB: To me NeW means a place/ group of people where I can freely share my thoughts without being treated in a disrespectful manner.