Last week, I wrote about why conservative high school students shouldn’t shy away from going to liberal universities. Over the weekend, I moved back up to UC Berkeley for my junior year, which means most college freshmen will also be moving in or starting school soon. If you’re a conservative or Libertarian college freshmen at a liberal university, you might feel like a fish out of water at first. But getting connected with the following organizations can help you find a community and work opportunities to enhance your college experience.
- College Republicans. The best (political) party on campus! My freshman year, I got involved with the College Republicans, and went on to serve as the club’s secretary and president. Getting involved in your state’s College Republicans organization is a great way to meet conservative students from around the state thanks to statewide deployments during election years and regular statewide conferences. It’s also a great way to coordinate with your local GOP affiliates for internship opportunities in your area.
- Young America’s Foundation. More commonly known as YAF, this 501c3 owns the Reagan Ranch and aims to keep conservative and free market principles alive and well on college campuses. They have a long list of speakers they are willing to bring to your campus, and has helped the Berkeley College Republicans bring Dennis Prager and Ben Shapiro to UC Berkeley. You can apply to receive activism kits with awesome Ronald Reagan gear, or ask if they will fund a giant 9/11 memorial to remember our fallen heroes and Americans. They also have professional resources via the Center for Entrepreneurship.
- Turning Point USA. This relatively new 501c3 headed by Charlie Kirk focuses on bringing free market ideas to college campuses. TPUSA sponsors speakers and campus activism efforts on campus to make sure every college student knows that socialism and big government both suck. They host both highschool and college conferences across the country with great speakers like Donald Trump Jr., Nikki Haley, and Jeff Sessions.
- Young Americans for Liberty. This organization was created after Ron Paul’s presidential campaign. Although Ron Paul failed to secure the nomination, he sparked a vivacious, grassroots liberty movement that the YAL team, led by Cliff Maloney Jr., continues to foster on campuses across the United States. The YAL folks are philosophically savvy libertarians and host conferences across the nation regularly.
- Leadership Institute. The Leadership Institute, also known as LI, hosts trainings, including the world-renowned Youth Leadership School. Albeit, the two-day training is grueling, but it is everything you need to know about leading a youth campaign. They also work in coordination with Campus Reform, a news outlet focused on exposing liberal biases on campus. They help bring speakers to campus, and will sponsor a “free speech ball” activism event.
- PragerFORCE. The campus activism wing of PragerU helps PragerU fans market their phenomenal five minute videos to students. It’s easy to join, and they have journalism and video production teams to help you get more involved in the organization. The most active PragerFORCE members get invited to a conference at the PragerU offices in Southern California, and are trained to be better activists by Will Witt and other members of the PragerU team.
- Your campus ROTCs. It’s important to know what ROTC clubs are on your campus. Not only are they more likely to be proud, conservative Americans, but because supporting our men and women who are educating themselves while preparing to serve has been a key tenant of conservative campus activism since the anti-war movement on college campuses began during the Vietnam War. This principle also extends to those who have already served by knowing if any veterans’ clubs on campus exist.
These organizations aren’t meant to serve as “safe spaces” from the liberal campus culture, their purpose is to help you find like-minded individuals that give you the opportunity to expand your knowledge, discuss current issues, and learn what works (and what doesn’t) when messaging your views to other students. In fact, you’re doing a disservice to the conservative movement when you decide to use these organizations as a place of refuge. College conservatives need to activate large numbers of people this election cycle if we want to hold Congress, and we can only do that if all campus conservatives work together to accomplish that goal.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.