Late September and early October are about the same in the heart of North Carolina; hot weather, sticky politics, and overwhelming amounts of voter registration drives. Walk on any given campus in this beautiful state and you’re bound to run into at least three people registering people to vote and one Turning Point Table changing the conversation on campus.
We started off the end of September by tabling with all my groups but focusing on an issue that seems taboo on campuses: fossil fuels. Defend Our Future tables are also everywhere on campuses asking students to sign a pledge to protect the environment and vote accordingly. So I actually decided to sign one because I do believe in protecting the environment. And as I did this, I told them about the myths of fracking and explained to them what it actually meant. Then I pitched the Turning Point USA message. We can not get rid of fossil fuels overnight. Fossil fuels are saving lives every day. As capitalists, we are not against innovation of resources to create green and profitable energy, but we are certainly against it being forced on companies. Needless to say, people were not very happy that we were sharing a message they didn’t want to have.
I also had the opportunity to go down to my alma mater of East Carolina University to see Turning Point USA’s Chapter of the Month for September. The team at East Carolina University is killing it with planning out their next semester and preparing to host a big name speaker of who is still undecided. But we also have our “Your Censorship Offends Me” week planned at ECU where we will work with Young American’s for Liberty and the Black Student Union to roll around a free speech ball to protest the “free speech zone.” Our awesome TPUSA president at ECU is Giovanni Triana who also has set up a “Safe Space” for people who are offended by the words on the ball. This safe zone will have coloring books and play-doh for people who wish to escape freedom of speech (Pacifiers may also be available). But my favorite thing I’ve learned from my ECU Chapter of TPUSA is that they have an “Activist of the Month.” The September Activist of the Month was Darrius Jackson, a student we recruited at the organization fair that the school hosts at ECU. He was really interested and signed up, eager to join. I went to table at ECU while the students were in class and he came right up, set his backpack behind the table and joined me in front of the table, talking to people who seemed interested. It was so great to see the work ECU is doing but it is even more amazing to see students who didn’t even know there was a group on campus that thought just like they did and would serve to further the conversations on campus.
And just as recently as October 12th, I traveled down to Clemson University to help the South Carolina Field Director’s prepare an event with Senator Tim Scott. We went down to Clemson, handing out fliers and telling people about their opportunity to meet their Senator while also learning from the Opportunity Lives videos and guests who spoke about rising above poverty without the help of a government program which a lot of these students didn’t know was possible. This is just Turning Point USA doing what Turning Point USA does best, changing the conversations on campus.