Joining the array of political advocacy groups on campus is Boston College’s own chapter of Turning Point USA, a conservative student organization with over 1,000 chapters in colleges and high schools nationwide. Founded last spring, the organization hopes to become a registered student organization (RSO) this semester.
BC’s chapter of Turning Point USA was founded by Caroline Downey, now president and MCAS ’20; Sydney Shugrue, vice president and MCAS ’20; and Jacob Small, treasurer and CSOM ’20; and others.
The group was inspired to start a chapter at BC due to a perceived lack of involvement in campus politics among those who share in their beliefs.
“We thought a certain organization on campus who is supposed to be the outlet for one political orientation was not very active, and they weren’t really serving that demographic of students,” Downey said. “And we didn’t like how the options were aligned with either of the political parties, as far as clubs go.”
“We wanted to bring more diversity of opinion to the campus and give more students an outlet to express their beliefs in a comfortable environment and not feel like they have to be alienated by one side or the other,” Shugrue added.
They also felt that BC’s campus political culture tended to side with one side of the political spectrum over the other, a trend they want to help reverse as much as possible.
“Turning Point’s mission is to promote and educate about the principles of free market, fiscal responsibility, and limited government, primarily on college campuses,” Downey said.
The group now has upwards of 30 members, and is currently reviewing applications for some executive board positions. They plan on having monthly meetings, each on a different topic confronting students, such as censorship, free speech, or specific constitutional amendments. They hope students will come to have a discussion and learn about the topics, with their first meeting scheduled for Oct. 3.
Downey, Shugrue, and other members on Turning Point hope to have joint events with other political organizations on campus. One such event in the works is a debate with the Young Democratic Socialists of BC (YDSBC) on the topic of capitalism versus socialism, which is hoped to be their big event of the semester. The debate will happen when both Turning Point and YDSBC become RSOs and are able to hold events on campus.
They also hope BC’s chapter of Turning Point will move away from the social issues that often bitterly divide college campuses and steal headlines.
“We know fiscal and social issues tend to intertwine, but we tend to focus on more fiscal rather than social [issues],” Downey and Shugrue said.
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