This blog post was written by YAF Alumna Caroline Rushing.
What do you do when events like The Vagina Monologues and I Heart Female Orgasm are considered some of the most popular events on campus? What do you do when your professor calls you “selfish” and “elitist” for writing a paper asserting that the growing welfare state is a threat to liberty? What do you do when you are asked to take a “privilege assessment” with the only goal of making you feel guilty for being white? For me, the best and only option was to become an outspoken conservative activist at my school, The University of Virginia.
I involved myself with the Network on enlightened Women, NeW, a book club and activism organization for conservative university women, and quickly began challenging the culture at UVA. The confidence I gained from reading and discussing conservative books, such as Dinesh D’Souza’s Letters to a Young Conservative, allowed me to speak up in my liberal classrooms. No longer did I hesitate to challenge my professors, or my classmates, when they attempted to indoctrinate with liberal lies. NeW spoke out against the radical feminist production The Vagina Monologues through projects seeking to empower women. We chose to celebrate the intelligence, strength, and ingenuity of women, rather than sexuality and reproductive organs. We hosted an event, March Madness: Gentlemen’s Edition, seeking to promote healthy relationships and respect between the sexes. Empowering and encouraging conservative women has become one of my biggest goals at UVA.
My involvement with the NeW led me to pursue an internship with The Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute. I spent the Summer of 2009 in Herndon, Virginia learning how to become a strong conservative woman and leader, and how to encourage more women to do the same. One of the greatest things about my internship was attending Young America’s Foundation’s National Conservative Student Conference in Washington, DC. This conference opened my mind to the world of conservative thought that was missing from my liberal education. The speakers motivated me to do more at UVA to share conservative ideas. It was encouraging to meet so many students hoping to change the dialogue on their campuses by promoting conservative principles.
After attending the National Conservative Student Conference, NeW became more outspoken than ever before. Through the assistance of Young America’s Foundation, NeW and other conservative groups took part in the 9/11: Never Forget Project honoring the victims of September 11, 2001. We premiered Not Evil Just Wrong, a documentary exposing the lies behind the radical environmentalist movement. With the help of Young America’s Foundation and The Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute, NeW was able to bring Kate Obenshain to speak about the relevance and importance of our Founding Fathers.
Young America’s Foundation has been an invaluable resource during my time at UVA. I have the honor of spending this summer as a Sarah T. Hermann Intern Scholar at Young America’s Foundation. I am learning more about activism and conservative leadership. I intend to use my last year at The University of Virginia promoting conservative principles wherever and whenever possible. I am so grateful that I attended the National Conservative Student Conference. I would encourage all conservative students to do the same!