I started off the semester on my home campus at Miami University. Miami is known for having a predominantly conservative student body, so I thought recruiting activists would be easy. Little did I know that apathy plays a huge role in student’s perceptions of politics and conservative values. The start of my semester was a bit rocky due to the fact that the weather was horrible and Miami’s semester didn’t start until the last week of January. Fortunately, with the help of the newly formed Turning Point Chapter, I was able to share my message and recruit many passionate activists.
The first big recruiting event I did was a petition to support Uber. At first, many students rejected to sign my petition claiming they did not have enough time or were frankly uninterested. However, after changing my rhetoric to a point where I would literally call out students and ask if they ever used Uber to get home after a night of drinking, I started to gain more support. It was energizing to hear students share their stories on how Uber is so convenient and efficient for them. When I told them that there was legislation in many cities to limit the use of Uber, many of my peers looked at me in disgust and automatically signed the petition.
The next event I set up was a tabling session at the Student Union. Being that it was Capitalism Week, I made sure to set up my big “I love Capitalism” sign as well as many buttons and literature supporting free enterprise. The reaction I got from students was mostly positive. Many students were excited to learn that Turning Point was a non-partisan group that didn’t identify with any party affiliation. From the contacts I got that day, nearly 10 students expressed interest in joining the organization, while many more confirmed their support for TPUSA’s ideology.
As far as logistics go, I have had much success reaching out to both on campus FMA groups and clubs located on other campuses. At Miami, the CRs have already committed to hosting a debate watch party with our chapter, and they have allowed me to speak at their general meetings. I have met with representatives from Americans for Prosperity as well as the Leadership Institute to discuss future endeavors on campus. Outside of my university, I have gained contacts with a few College Republicans from the University of Cincinnati. I anticipate going down to UC within the next month to talk to them about become activists and starting a chapter at their school.
Overall, I am satisfied with my work so far. Though there is plenty of apathy on this campus, I definitely feel like the activists I’ve recruited can make an impact with our movement. I am excited to see what the future holds not only at Miami, but within the region of Southern Ohio.