To start, what are the basic principles of your organization?
Young Americans for Freedom: In the face of national pushback against conservative beliefs, we want to show conservatives that they don’t have to be afraid or ashamed. We support free enterprise, a strong national defense, individual freedom and traditional values.
College Democrats: We are a politically active group that focuses on engaging students in the political process and getting them involved in our local political landscape to be able to make a positive impact on our community.
How has the current political climate shaped your group?
YAF: Universities across the U.S. are silencing conservatives with illegal speech codes, free speech zones and restrictions. We want to show conservatives that they don’t have to be afraid or ashamed and we want to defend our rights.
CD: The current political climate has had a huge effect on how we operate. It has gotten many students in our group fired up to make an impact on our local political community and aim to improve our city and country through political engagement.
What do you think is the biggest challenge to college students today?
YAF: Students have to deal with administrations that restrict their right to free speech.
CD: The biggest challenge for college students is finding your place and the impact you want to make. In this stage of our life it is hard to be in a place where you can make an impact and feel like you have found a place where you can make a difference that you want to see. That is a big thing that we, as a group, want to do; help students find their place to impact the political landscape on a local, regional or even national level.
What are your organization’s feelings towards other groups who may have differing opinions?
YAF: We welcome intellectual diversity and hope to foster a community that also welcomes intellectual diversity.
CD: We encourage constructive conversations, even with people that may drastically disagree with us. It is important to have all viewpoints present in our current political climate. We have to work toward compromise and that starts with having a conversation and being open to different ways of thinking.
Are there any projects your group is planning/working on?
YAF: We will be doing man-onthe- street interviews throughout the rest of the semester, as well as several fundraising events.
CD: We are currently planning a grill out on Oct. 11 in Elmwood Park for the various democrat groups in our community, other college democrat clubs and any student that wants to come hangout! Also, we are planning a forum with various professors to help educate students on political issues of which they may not be aware.