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College is the perfect time and place to find things you’re passionate about. If you’re a political junkie like myself, you’ll automatically be drawn to groups and organizations that pertain to those interests. Since most colleges having a huge liberal influence, it can be challenging to find groups where your conservative values are reflected. Here’s a how-to-guide on how to start or grow a conservative group on your ultra-liberal campus:

1) Don’t be afraid

First and foremost, don’t be intimidated. Although you might have a different opinion than the vast majority of your peers, being different is never a reason to hang your head in silence. It’s easy to stay quiet when you sit in class every day, listening to your professors and students tear apart conservative ideology. Think of it as your duty to offer a diverse and fresh outlook to your classmates that they wouldn’t hear otherwise. If the people around you feel threatened and belittle you for it, that’s their problem.

2) Link up

When I finally found a conservative group on my liberal campus, it had only two members and was barely functional. I made it my mission to whip the group into shape and have it put its best foot forward. The best thing to do in terms of growing your group is to link up with other conservative groups in the area.

At the time, I interned at the New Hampshire Republican State Committee. I went to them with my ideas and hopes for the group. The insight and suggestions they gave me were gold. I got in contact with the county Republican Committees where my school is located. Not surprisingly, they were thrilled to help develop the group. 

In New Hampshire, we have a state federation of College Republicans, which is made up of students from schools all over the state. They’re a great resource. Odds are, your state has other groups like this and you can find out by clicking here.

3) Reach out

Reach out to your peers, other organizations on campus, and anyone who might have the slightest interest in joining your group. Talk with student government, your school’s debate club and even College Democrats. The more people you add to your network, the more opportunities you’ll have to work with others in the future to promote your group.

Grab some of your friends to set up a recruitment table in a high-traffic area of campus. This will help you get an email/phone list for potential members. You might be surprised by how many students rush up, wide-eyed, and ask, “There’s a conservative group on campus? Where have you been?!” There are guaranteed to be quite a few conservative minds on campus.  You just have to find them.

Make flyers, banners or any other kind of tangible media to attract people. Capitalize on the creativity in your group. Slowly, but surely, your numbers will start to grow.

4) Let your voice be heard

As people start to express interest in your group, your voices will become louder. As conservative millennials, there are core ideas we can all agree on.  Make sure you let your campus know this.

A great way to gain a platform from which you will be heard is to create social media accounts. Social media is a fun and effortless way to promote. You can post photos of your group at conservative gatherings, live tweet debates, and show everyone how truly wonderful it is to be Right.

Hosting events on campus to make your presence known can be hard, but it’s crucial. Schedule weekly meetings, bring conservative speakers in, and host a debate watch party, etc. There are many ways to actively find your place.  You don’t always have to do it alone; as mentioned before, you can reach out to other clubs on campus to co-host events to make connections and even make new friends.

Speaking your mind and being active on an ultra-liberal campus does come at a small price. You have to always be prepared to defend your principles. For some, this may seem scary to some. As long as you remain respectful, calm and informative, you shouldn’t have any problem. It’s the unfortunate truth that some people will try to degrade your character or put you into a category which portrays you as something you’re not.  You should remember that the one thing you’re not is cruel or hateful. You should never stoop to their level.

5) Celebrate the small victories

It’s important to understand that you won’t have a group of 50 members overnight, especially at a school with a huge left-wing bias. There’s that annoying saying about how Rome wasn’t built in a day. There’s a lot of truth to that because great things do take time.

It’s easy to see your shortcomings.  The road to success can be long, but don’t get discouraged. When you see your group come together, enjoy each other’s company, and play an active role in spreading the conservative message, it will be worth the struggle.

6) Make it official

Finally, I would highly recommend applying to join the College Republican National Committee. Once you have an established group, you can apply to make your school a chapter with the CRNC. The perks of being involved are endless: it provides you with a national network, sense of community, leadership opportunities, and a beautiful thing called a chapter box. On their website, there’s a detailed checklist for starting your chapter and a form to apply. You can find that by clicking here.

The bottom line is that it’s not easy to be different.  It’s not easy to be a leader, but there are a lot of other conservative college students just like you trying to find their voices in a place where they aren’t warmly welcomed. From my personal experience, I can tell you is that it is achievable and it is worth every struggle you may encounter. Good luck!

Kate C