As hot conservative summer dawns away and a near school year begins, it’s important for those new on campus to know their options on all the great conservative student organizations they can join. Many different organizations exist, surviving different purposes that ensure the advancement of the conservative movement. Here’s a list of some of the best student organizations you can join or start at college:
Young America’s Foundation was founded in 1969. Their mission is to “ensure that increasing numbers of young Americans understand and are inspired by the ideas of individual freedom, a strong national defense, free enterprise, and traditional values.”
YAF is one of the biggest conservative organizations in the country aimed towards college students, with over 200+ colleges having a chapter club. Young America’s Foundation is also home to the Reagan Ranch, a ranch once owned by President Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy. The ranch now host various speakers throughout the year, along with several different conferences and activism training. Some of the guests that frequently appear for YAF include Ben Shapiro, Michael Knowles, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
Young Americans for Liberty is a libertarian organization, which aims to promote liberty on college campuses along with public offices. Their flagship program, “Operation Win at the Door,” has helped 39 candidates nationwide win primary elections, while knocking on over a million doors in the process. Just like the other organizations on this list, YAL hosts a series of conferences and activism training seminars with speakers such as Ron Paul, Justin Amash, and Glenn Jacobs (also known as Kane!). For libertarians who love fighting for liberty, YAL is the place for you!
The College Republican National Committee was founded in 1892, with the sole purpose of recruiting for Republican candidates nationwide to assist in elections. Since its founding, College Republicans has become more of an activist arm within college campuses, often holding events to help promote conservative values on campus. If you are someone who wants to get involved in campaigns, want to work in public office or run for office one day, College Republicans might be the one for you! Some notable alumni of College Republicans include former House Speaker Paul Ryan, Roger Stone, Rick Santorum, and even (and I’m not kidding) Hillary Clinton.
Issue Based Clubs
Many issue based clubs also operate nationwide, and unlike the other organizations on this list, they are specifically geared to one issue. The list includes Students for Life, Christians supporting Israel, Campus Carry, and the Federalist Society. Almost any single issue can be turned into a club, so if you want to create a pro gun club where you assist students with gun safety and education, do it! If you want to help create a club that advocates for taxes being cut, that’s fine as well! The beauty of these issue based clubs is that you can find many people that agree with a single issue rather than a wide range of issues.
Bonus: Leadership Institute
While the Leadership Institute (LI) itself is not a club, it is a well respected organization within the conservative community. For the past 40 years, the Leadership Institute has trained conservatives in campaigning, political activism, campaign activism, fundraising, and media. Their flagship program “Youth Leadership School,” has graduated many prominent conservative activists and public officials, including David Blair, the current program director who was also the National Director of Youth for Trump during his 2016 campaign.
The Leadership Institute recently hosted Vice President Mike Pence to speak to recent college graduates on the importance of campus activism. LI is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, but frequently goes across the country in order to help train the next generation of conservative leaders! Whether you consider yourself a libertarian or conservative, the Leadership Institute is the perfect place to get started in politics and be a leader not only on campus but in the world.
No matter what you choose from this list, it’s easy to find your niche. Whether you are more libertarian minded and want to fight for civil liberties, or you want to help elect the new Dan Crenshaw or Matt Gaetz, there is something for everyone when it comes to campus activism!
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.