As part of our Chapter Spotlight, NeW caught up with NeW at AU President Grayson Campo, Outreach Director Elise Stebick, and Vice President Peyton Smith. Check out what they had to say about being conservative and what NeW at AU is doing to combat liberal bias on campus!
What does it mean to you to be a conservative?
Grayson: To me, being a conservative is about limited government and unlimited freedom. Emphasizing personal responsibility for citizens to make choices that will have the best impact on them.
Peyton: To me, being a conservative means believing in the power of democracy and small government and recognizing the importance of a free market and its effect on society.
Elise: To be conservative means being different than everyone else. [Being Conservative] is based on ideas of individuality; of being one’s own person, away from the big government.
What kind of impact has your chapter had on your campus?
Grayson: We have brought in amazing speakers, such as Senator Susan Collins, Congressman Brian Mast, and Kristen Soltis Anderson.We are promoting intellectual diversity on our campus by bringing these speakers to campus to speak on issues that our students are passionate about including healthcare, millennials in voting, and foreign affairs.
Peyton: NeW has been able to bring together conservative women together on our campus and has formed strong friendships within our organization. This organization provides a welcoming environment where conservative women at American University can feel as if their opinions are heard and that they matter.
Elise: Our chapter has allowed conservative women to find a comfortable environment to debate and discuss the changing political culture and our views.
What advice would you give someone who wants to start a chapter?
Grayson: Start now! It may seem like a daunting task to start a club, but it is so rewarding.
Peyton: Starting a chapter on campus may be intimidating, especially if you are on a very liberal campus, but it is definitely worth it. Being persistent and patient is key when starting a NeW chapter, as it will take a little bit of time to gain interest and have a consistent group of people attend your meetings, but you gain so much insight into how to run an organization by starting a chapter!
Elise: NeW has been the highlight of my college education, so I would highly suggest that others start a chapter as well. NeW is a great opportunity to not only grow the conservative point of view on your college campus but grow as a conservative woman.
What does NeW mean to you?
Grayson: NeW means being surrounded by like-minded people who encourage and support each other. It’s a network of women willing to listen, expand their network, and help each other grow.
Peyton: To me, NeW represents a large part of my collegiate experience. I have met some of my best friends through this organization, and I am grateful for the positive impact that it has had on my life. NeW has allowed me to become more confident and outspoken about my beliefs while also providing a great support system.
Elise: To me, NeW helps me grow and learn from other like-minded women. Being a conservative woman gives me the confidence to be bold, knowing others will appreciate me for what I stand for. Through NeW, I hope to show others just how great it is to be a conservative woman.