When Lauren McCue began putting up posters around the Virginia
Tech campus that read, “Alien Invasion: How Illegal Immigration Is
Hurting America,” she was destined to draw some attention.
On October 28, Lauren and her Virginia Tech Young Americans for
Freedom (YAF) chapter hosted Bay Buchanan, a conservative commentator and Treasurer of the United States
under President Ronald Reagan, to speak on the issue of illegal
immigration. Expecting a modest gathering of around 100 students,
Lauren got more than she bargained for with a room overflowing with
students, protestors, and a slew of personal attacks aimed at her
and her chapter.
Despite the efforts by the Latino Association of Student
Organizations, the VT Dreamers, the campus feminist group, the
university’s own diversity office, and faculty members, the event
went on without a hitch. Over 300 students filled the lecture hall
and the neighboring hallways to hear Bay Buchanan give her
For its courage and effective leadership, Virginia Tech YAF is
being recognized as YAF Chapter of the Month for October.
Founded by Lauren McCue, the Virginia Tech YAF chapter is in the
midst of its first semester on campus. At first, the effort
included just Lauren and a few of her friends that were kind enough
to put their names down to help make the group official. “I was
kind of like a one-woman army,” Lauren said. “Though, friends were
a needed support system.”
The chapter began to grow following a successful 9/11: Never
Forget Project and a widespread “grassroots and word-of-mouth
effort,” Lauren noted.
Much of the chapter’s success has stemmed from Lauren’s passion
for YAF and spreading the conservative message on campus. “Show
them how passionate you are and they will be willing to tag along,”
For the Bay Buchanan event, Lauren showed her passion through
her posters and her ability to stand up against those trying to
censor her. “Be provocative and attention-grabbing,” Lauren said.
“Be fearless with your advertising.”
Along with the success Virginia Tech YAF has had on campus,
Lauren and her chapter secretary Brian Wolf attended the Young
Americans for Freedom Activism Training Seminar at Young America’s
Foundation headquarters in Virginia.
At the seminar, Lauren and Brian were exposed to some of the
great resources the Foundation has to offer. Through lessons in
leadership, as well as PR and communications, Lauren recounts, “I
learned so much about running an active chapter.” She and one of
her members also recently attended the Foundation’s Time for
Choosing conference in Santa Barbara.
As chairwoman, Lauren has built a quality team. The Virginia
Tech YAF leadership consists of Tim Harwick as vice chairman, Brian
Wolf as secretary, Justin Hwang as public relations officer, and
Harrison Pearson as the activism officer.
Lauren and the Virginia Tech YAF chapter have stood strong
against hostile administrators and intolerant student groups, and
for that we want to name the group YAF Chapter of the Month for
Nathan Brand is a member of the Young Americans for Freedom
Board of Governors and Chairman Emeritus of Hillsdale YAF