This semester NeW at the University of Florida has witnessed tremendous
growth. We have had close to 30 members at each of our first two
meetings. Embarking on our second year of being an organized group on
campus, this exciting enthusiasm for NeW has led me to consider what
factors have influenced the influx of membership and interest. I think
it really is a combination of several factors.
First, you can’t
deny the influence of the election, particularly the nomination of
Sarah Palin for Vice President. On a liberal campus, conservative
students right now feel bombarded by the active campaign efforts
targeting liberal students. These students are seeking a community of
like-minded individuals, and NeW provides just that. And you can’t deny
the excitement for conservative females with Palin now on the ticket.
It’s hard for us to get our members to stop talking about the impact
Palin has had on this year’s election.
Next, I would attribute
this year’s success to the real substance of NeW. The group is more
than just a political group, but it is a forum that embraces and
encourages enlightenment. Women come to our meetings with a desire to
learn, and through discussion of issues and ideas, we provide an
environment that fosters education. We also work to educate ourselves
members on important principles of conservatism, and I have seen how so
many are hungry just to learn what it really means to be a
conservative. We are building a strong foundation. But our group
doesn’t stop with learning, we encourage social interaction to develop
a true network of likeminded women.
Finally, we have learned how
to target groups and people specifically in our advertising efforts.
This semester, I announced at a College Republicans meeting. We created
eye-catching flyers and posted them all over campus. We tabled at our
student organization fair and talked to women individually. We created
a facebook group for our first meeting and offered free pizza. We also
talked to friends and encouraged them to come. Personal invites always
are always much more influential.
It is exciting to see the
presence of NeW grow on our campus, and I’m excited both to contribute
to this movement and to watch it expand!