For their determination, courage, and ability to inspire their peers, The George Washington University YAF (GW YAF) has been named Chapter of the Month for January.

Nearly every time Ben Shapiro is invited to speak, YAF chapters face an unrelenting wave of leftist intolerance from their school administrators, their radical peers, or both.

From the very beginning, GW YAF faced needless hurdles. While the student government proudly awarded tens of thousands of dollars to leftist student organizations on campus, GW YAF found themselves forced to go the extra mile in their attempt to simply receive financing to host Shapiro.

“Students at GW are constantly subjected to leftist speakers brought in by university officials and we knew that if we don’t bring conservative speakers to GW, no one will,” explained one of GW YAF’s co-presidents, Aimee Triana. Fortunately, GW YAF, whose members have attended numerous chapter training seminars put on by Young America’s Foundation, knew exactly what needed to be done. 

The YAF chapter made the decision to pack the student government’s financial allocation meeting with YAF members and clearly illustrate the value of allowing the conservative perspective to exist on campus.

 

In a room crowded with YAFers wearing their Young Americans for Freedom t-shirts, each chapter member took up the maximum allotted time for public comment, hammering the benefits of intellectual diversity and demanding the same rights and privileges for conservative organizations and their events that are granted to every other student group. This caused the meeting to extend well past midnight and ultimately led the GW student government association to provide the chapter with $11,000 as opposed to the $0 initially granted.

Energized by their success, the YAF activists spent the next two months advertising all across campus and social media through an assortment of flyers and other ads. As expected in today’s campus climate, the activists found themselves reposting their ads time and time again as campus leftists tore them down and defaced them. 

This, however, paled in comparison to the threats the YAF chapter received just before their event was set to take place. On the morning of Shapiro’s lecture, students at The George Washington University were met with posters threatening harm to Ben Shapiro and his hosts. The poster featured a picture of Shapiro covered with a red “X” and the words “Hey YAF, Get Security.” In response, the chapter ramped up their marketing efforts, making one final push to flyer their campus and fill DC sidewalks with chalk ads for their event that evening. 

Because of their courage and ability to stand up to the leftist bigotry, the YAF chapter found over 500 people clamoring to get into the lecture hall to see Ben Shapiro speak. 

Following the event, members of the chapter received praise from their peers across campus. “People told us they felt freer to express their beliefs on campus,” Triana remarked, “There was no other way to describe the atmosphere on campus other than free.”

GW YAF challenged their university and their student government to allow conservative thought, and they courageously stood firm despite threats and acts of intolerance from campus leftists. For these reasons, we congratulate GW YAF one being selected as the January Chapter of the Month. 

The following members of GWU YAF were also instrumental in the chapter’s success:

  • Kara Zupkus, Co-President
  • Matthew Mastroberti