April 22, 2018 | Meg McEwen
As part of its Chapter Spotlight, NeW caught up with President Jessica Martinez, Vice President Alexis Bowman, Event Coordinator/PR
Alexandra Duncan, Treasurer Hannah Whitlow, and Blog Contributor
Caroline O’Connor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (NeW at UNCC). Learn about the great work and events that NeW at UNCC is doing!
What does it mean to you to be a conservative?
Jessica: Being a conservative means upholding the traditional values our nation was founded upon, empowering individuals with the freedom to choose where they will invest their abilities to live out the American Dream, and working hard to grow into a better version of themselves.
Alexis: To me, being a conservative means fighting to protect freedom and preserve liberty.
Alexandra: To me, being a Conservative means strictly following and believing in the traditional values that this nation was founded upon. Conservatism is often deemed negative, but Network of enlightened Women has deemed a new perspective especially when it comes to empowering young women on college campuses.
Hannah: To be a conservative means to uphold the values that our country was founded on. We understand that family values are one of the core building blocks of our nation and we stand for freedom of religion not freedom from religion. We fight for freedom, low taxes, and limited government. As a conservative, I believe that people are free do make of themselves what they want and that government regulations hinder growth and personal responsibility.
Caroline: Conservative means upholding high moral values and attitude in every social and professional situation.
What kind of impact has your chapter had on your campus?
Alexis: Our chapter has impacted campus by giving conservative women a place to connect with other like-minded women, and to speak freely without being shut down.
Alexandra: On campus, our Chapter has struck up conversation. Personally, when I tell other young women about NeW and what it stands for, that immediately sparks an in depth discussion about current politics and what we hope to see in the future. Going forward, I would like to make a bigger impact when it comes to getting our name out there. NeW stands for great values, but not too many people know about us. If we can gain a larger and louder voice, our Chapter can be unstoppable.
Hannah: We want to show college students and “millennials” that we are the future of this country and we have the chance to make the greatest impact on this country since the baby boomer generation. We want to show our campus that even in liberal Charlotte, more individuals hold traditional beliefs that we are led to believe and that it is okay to be young and hold those values.
Caroline: The impact on campus is that there is has been a place for conservative women to gather and talk about politics impacting us today.
Jessica: As we approach the spring semester of our first full year on campus, NeW has allowed conservative women to rally together and empower one another to proudly stand up for their beliefs. Our goal is to continue to be vocal about our conservative values, and expose the intolerance from the left that silences numerous of conservatives on college campuses. The impact is and will continue to be that of sparking educated conversations that many refuse to have about what the word conservative really means.
What book is your chapter reading this semester? Why did you choose it?
For our 2018 spring semester, NeW at UNC Charlotte will begin to read Feisty and Feminist by Penny Young Nance because of the empowering message her book brings to conservative women.
Jessica: Today’s conservative women are intelligent, well-educated, compassionate, accomplished, funny, and fearless—and it’s time for us to stand up and be heard. (Penny Y Nance).” This book gives a vision for the future of conservatism by encouraging us to engage in the issue to effect change, and contains inspiration that we can translate into action as we continue to stand as proud conservative women.
What advice would you give someone who wants to start a chapter?
Alexis: The best advice I have to anyone who wants to start a chapter is to just do it regardless of any obstacles. Don’t give up, because every college campus should have a chapter of NeW.
Alexandra: This Fall 2017 semester was the start of our first full year on UNC Charlotte's campus. It was a struggle at first. We had no prior events or volunteer projects to plan off of, so that was all from scratch. My advice would be to try new things and talk to several different opportunities. Starting out, you don't have to pick one thing, you can try them all and see what fits best with your members and your community!
Hannah: Make sure you have everything together. Make sure you have a group of people that are ready and willing to put in the time and do what it takes to make it happen and make an impact.
Caroline: Be driven and strong in your beliefs!
Jessica: As founder of the NeW chapter at UNC Charlotte my biggest advice would be to never give up. The journey will to build a chapter from the bottom is a rewarding challenge. Learn from other’s successes and failures by engaging in conversation with other leaders, because NeW is a community that empowers one another. “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” Do not be afraid to be innovative in spreading the conservative message on your campus, and ask your leadership team and members what they want to gain from being apart of NeW.
What does NeW mean to you?
Alexis: NeW means so much to me. It’s a place where I can express my beliefs without any fear of judgement. It means making friends that will last a lifetime, with strong women who support the conservative movement.
Alexandra: Network of enlightened Women means building strong bonds with like-minded women in a difficult time in our country. It seems as though everyone is so torn between left wing and right wing, liberal and conservative, and "wrong" and "right". At the end of the day, NeW has given me a safe place to discuss current events with likeminded people. NeW strives to empower women to be their best and promote only the best in their peers. To me, NeW means connecting, networking, and friendship.
Hannah: Network of Enlightened Women is a place where like-minded women can come together to discuss what is happening in our country and build each other up. We are often attacked for our traditional beliefs and called “anti-woman” for them but in NeW, we are able to find refuge in each other and not feel as if we have to change or hide who we are.
Caroline: NeW means professional development and strong circle of professional women.
Jessica: NeW is an organization that offers an opportunity to be a part of a community of like-minded individuals, and empowers young women to become strong, bold, and educated leaders promoting conservative values.