There isn’t a GOP meeting in Virginia where skyrocketing tuition costs, crushing national debt, steady unemployment, and their effects on the next generation are not discussed. But for many College Republicans and conservative millennials throughout the Commonwealth these concerns are far from abstract. Today, college tuition rates have reached an all-time high, saddling the average student with a debt of $26,432 upon graduation. Concurrently, the U.S. national debt is on the precipice of nineteen trillion dollars while unemployment in Virginia remains at 4.8%, ironically doubling to 8.5% to those with four-year degrees.
Well, the next generation is here, and we are ready to fight. We have seen Governor McAuliffe sit idly by as tuition rates rose exponentially over the past three years. We watched as Democratic control caused Virginia to fall from America’s #1 Best State for Business to twelfth. We witnessed Obama-McAuliffe policies result in 0.0% economic growth in 2015, putting Virginia in 48th place nationally. Now, more than ever, we must have real change and real leadership, and it starts with the College Republican Federation of Virginia (CRFV).
The CRFV is the largest and oldest young Republican organization in the Commonwealth. Last year we reached a historic mark, expanding the federation to the greatest number of schools and universities in its history. We volunteered for over one hundred local races throughout Virginia, and knocked nearly 6,000 doors for Senator-Elect Glen Sturtevant. The CRFV led the crusade against sexual assault on campus, conducting training programs to increase awareness and identify solutions. The CRFV was dedicated to quality leadership on campus, conservative solutions in governance, and, most of all, winning elections. Each candidate on the Unify CRFV ticket is a proud member of the 2015 leadership team and played key roles in orchestrating the organization’s success. This year, we had the opportunity to see what works and, more importantly, what still requires improvement.
A strong, unified CRFV requires strong, unified chapters. In 2015, we expanded CRFV’s reach to the most colleges and universities in the organization’s long history. This year, we must now fill these chapters, develop our student leaders, and organize the CRFV to continue to deliver results at the polls. Unify CRFV will create a summer leadership summit where each chapter chair, secretary, treasurer, etc. will be given the tools, institutional knowledge, and financial support to effectively empower their members.
The greatest obstacle in an organization’s expansion is effective communication. Unify CRFV will expand the communication appointments to include a Secretary, Digital Director, Deputy Digital Director, and Communications Director. This team will be critical in disseminating information from the CRFV to its chapters, as well as keeping the greater Republican community informed with the on-goings of our organization by embracing new media and revitalizing existing communication tools.
Our Voice, Our Party:
Far too often, students active in the College Republicans trade in their grassroots involvement for a diploma upon graduation. With this in mind, it is a priority of Unify CRFV to get our students engaged in GOP activism off campus. Whether it’s joining a local GOP committee, the Virginia Federation of Republican Women, the Young Republicans, or any other group committed to supporting our Republican candidates, it is our responsibility to embrace, develop, and deploy a new generation of grassroots activists. The first step is working with local GOP committees to set student prices for membership and creating positions for a College Republican representative on each committee’s executive board.
United We Stand:
Unify CRFV is proud to announce it has the endorsement and support of every fully-chartered chapter chair within the Federation. We are endorsed by eight former CRFV Chairman and multitudes of leaders in the conservative millennial revolution.
This is the year we take back our country, commonwealth, and communities. This is the year we solve the problems plaguing Virginia and America by applying true conservative governance. The CRFV is often said to be where tomorrow’s conservative leaders can be found. Well, tomorrow is here, and we are ready to get started.
Benjamin Dessart is a second-year law student at the University of Richmond and chief of staff for the College Republican Federation of Virginia.