As a member of College Republicans at my university, I have been given a number of invaluable opportunities. In addition to the chance to attend many events and work on various campaigns, my chapter has also had the chance to work with students from other colleges and universities as a part of The College Republican Federation of Virginia and The College Republican National Committee. I have been able to meet and network with some of the brightest and most driven young conservatives.
If any young conservatives reading this might feel hesitant to get involved in organizations like the College Republicans, the testimonies of my fellow CRs might make you reconsider. Campaigning your way through college can unlock countless opportunities.
Devon Flynn, George Mason University
Devon Flynn, a graduating Senior at George Mason University, served as the former 1st Vice-Chairman of the College Republican Federation of Virginia. As a Government and International Politics major, Devon found that his learning experiences went far beyond the classroom. He attributes his work with CRs to helping him learn the ins and outs of the political process, and for allowing him to use his voice to represent the opinions of College students throughout the state. Through his networking, Devon stated that he has made great connections and met with state and national leaders. Devon firmly believes that politics truly opens doors and because of this he feels much more comfortable entering the job market after leaving GMU.
Canon Cochran, Longwood University
Sophomore Canon Cochran’s commitment to getting conservative candidates elected on the local, state, and national level is one that has opened doors for him as well. The political science major spent his winter break in Washington D.C. working as an intern for U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Comstock. Canon shares that he most values the connections that he has made, hoping for them to aide him in his future career.
Jackson Brumfield, Virginia Commonwealth University
I met Jackson Brumfield in June of 2015 as we worked together on a primary campaign for Bill Janis (R) in Henrico and Hanover. In an interview in Jackson, he shared that he also worked as a staffer for Glen Sturtevant, who is now my VA Senate representative, and Tony Pham, who was unfortunately unable to secure a victory for Commonwealth Attorney. Jackson is now a field organizer for the Republican National Committee, but cites his time spent on local campaigns as a way to learn some great lessons on leadership roles and served as a chance to get to know his community better.
Helen Dunnavant, Virginia Tech
Helen Dunnavant has worked on over ten campaigns in the past few years. She wrote in an email to me that voter outreach made up the majority of her work for those campaigns. She believes that individual conversations with voters, whether it be through door-knocking or phone banking, should never be underrated: their votes could make a huge difference in the outcome of the election.
One high-impact moment that stands out in Helen’s mind was when her mother, Siobhan Dunnavant (R), was running against Bill Janis. An undecided female voter approached Helen and asked her a question, but Helen didn’t know the answer. As the voter left the polling place, however, she told Helen that she had voted for Dunnavant. The voter had appreciated the fact that Helen was honest with her, and didn’t just tell her a scripted response that she wanted to hear. It’s a shame that the political field is often plagued with dishonesty, so it is evident that Helen’s truthfulness was refreshing enough to capture that particular women’s support of her mother as a candidate.
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The College Republicans organization seeks to unify future leaders of the conservation movement as they help elect Republican candidates and support the Republican agenda. The voice of young conservatives is one that needs to be heard by political leaders, and if you or your friends are looking for ways to get involved in the political process, the College Republicans may just have a place for you as well.