Going to a new campus can be difficult, you never know what to expect. I’ve heard countless stories of other TPUSA activists going to a new campus, and finding themselves having a run-in with the administration saying they can’t be there within 10 minutes of getting to campus. So whenever I try a new campus, there’s always an element of uncertainty. On February 29th I went to Columbus State Community College, with very little expectation.
Columbus State is a relatively big community college, located in downtown Columbus, where A large portion of the students only go to online classes, and very few stay for all four years, so it’s not exactly a campus where students tend to get involved with. I walked to what looked like a high traffic area and set up my table, and began asking every student that walked by my table, “Hey do you like capitalism” or saying “Hey did you know capitalism cures poverty” and surprisingly almost everyone I talked to either said “yes” or, would come up and at least have a conversation about it.
One conversation that particularly stuck out to me was a group of Somali Immigrant students who walked up to my table and said “How can you say that capitalism cures poverty when capitalism is the basis of injustice” and further explained their experience in a practically anarchic society, and why they officially immigrated to the U.S. 10 years ago. I found that they had the same issues with capitalism that countless other students do, they don’t really know what it means. So many college students associate capitalism with cronyism, or anarchy, and it’s not at all those things. I first asked them why they picked the United States as the country to move to, and they talked all about opportunity, and freedom. That’s the angle I chose to explain it to them with, I told them how capitalism, despite all the claims that it only benefits the rich, gives everyone equal opportunity to advance themselves, it’s the only system where you can be born a poor man and die a rich one. They also particularly liked how hundreds of millions of people have been lifted out of poverty in China, and India since capitalism was adopted there.
I didn’t know what to expect with Columbus State, in fact I had relatively low expectations, as I’d heard it wasn’t a particularly engaged campus. However, once I was there, I found a really good group of engaged students eager to learn more, or express their own opinions. When it was all said and done, I found 15 students who pledged to vote for a limited government, free market loving candidate, and that doesn’t even include the other people who already agreed. I think Columbus State, while not necessarily the most well known school, could be a fantastic opportunity for TPUSA to grow.