“The words ‘be bold’ have not stopped resonating in my mind since I left the conference.”
These are the words of Matthew Mastroberti, a student from The George Washington University who was one of more than 90 students that attended the Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) Chapter Training Seminar on January 26 and 27.
YAF activists from more than 40 unique colleges in over 20 different states attended the seminar with the goal of being equipped with the tools necessary to challenge the liberal ideologies that dominate college campuses today.
As an attendee of the seminar, Elle Lamb, a YAF activist from The Ohio State University, noted that she now has “the confidence to be a bold activist on campus.” After learning about topics ranging from how to host a speaker to protecting students’ free speech rights on campus, Lamb said “our chapter is now ready and motivated for this semester’s activism and events.”
Inspired and ready to lead her chapter, Clemson YAF chair Morgan Bailey said that the seminar “made me want to be an even better chair and get my members fired up for what we have planned for this semester. YAF has…given me a voice in the conservative movement.” Similar to many other college campuses around the country, Bailey realized that YAF at Clemson has given conservatives a valuable presence on campus. “People come to us for the conservative message on a normally apathetic campus,” she said.
On Saturday, the students participated in several breakout sessions designed to provide hands-on activism training in areas such as designing a recruitment table, creating effective flyers, and responding to the press. Victor Santos joined YAF at the University of Florida because it “was the only active conservative organization on campus.” Santos said that the breakout sessions provided a great opportunity to learn about “the different hurdles of conservative activism on campus” and how to overcome them. “Thanks to this seminar we will be making a direct impact on campus,” he said.
Attending a YAF conference for the first time, The George Washington University student Matthew Mastroberti took away the practical experience and inspiration the seminar provided him. “When I first got involved with The George Washington University’s Chapter of YAF earlier this year, I never imagined it would lead me to incredible opportunities and a powerful outlet for conservative activism,” Mastroberti said. Reflecting on the motivation provided by speakers throughout the weekend, Mastroberti said the phrase ‘be bold’ “will act as a mantra when my views are put to the test by the leftist mobs found in every department, classroom, and building at GW.”