Tigers for Liberty (TFL), Trinity’s only conservative student organization, relinquished their independence this summer to become a chapter of the Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT).
Since their founding in Feb. 2016, TFL has been active on campus, organizing a 9/11 memorial and bringing major speakers to campus. As a condition of joining YCT, TFL will change their name to YCT once it is approved by Student Involvement.
YCT is a statewide organization with chapters across universities that work to shape Texas politics through educating students and the public about conservative policies and campaigning for political candidates.
“There are more than a few college groups that claim to fight for freedom out there, but we joined YCT because they most maturely and effectively uphold their goal of promoting conservative values in Texas politics,” said junior Isaiah Mitchell, the chairman of TFL. “Other groups aren’t as focused on values or just don’t promote their values as effectively in politics.”
TFL has always been an independent organization, but it’s been loosely affiliated with many national conservative campus organizations. This lead to many legal issues since all of these national organizations thought TFL was an official chapter of their individual organizations.
“After three years of complications from being loosely affiliated with multiple organizations, we were ready to settle down and be an official chapter of one organization,” said sophomore Julia Westwick, TFL’s secretary. “After much deliberation, we decided to choose the [YCT] because they best fit our needs and serve as a strong foundation for the future.”
According to Westwick, the other national organizations focused on campus activism, and she believes that YCT is the best organization to draw TFL out of solely campus activism and into the city to make political change.
“Campus activism is not one of our main goals since our campus is small and we want to have a direct effect on public policy,” said Westwick. “YCT provides ample opportunities to get our club members involved in campaigns to help local conservatives get elected. We like how YCT is Texas-specific; this allows us to get involved more in policy issues that directly affect us.”
Members of TFL have already begun to volunteer on the campaign for Chip Roy, a conservative candidate for the 21st Congressional District of Texas.
“Joining YCT won’t change the welcoming atmosphere that we’ve always fostered in TFL or our on-campus events, but it will boost our activism efforts in Bexar County,” Mitchell said. “We’re looking forward to a lot of phone banking, block walking and involvement in real politics outside the campus.”
TFL will continue to have Socratic discussions about public policies and social issues every week at their meetings as well as monthly social mixers organized by Westwick and Emma McMahan, sophomore and TFL’s social chair.
“Per usual, conservatives and libertarians are the minority on university campuses, and our mission is to provide these students with a welcoming environment where they can openly state their ideas without feeling shameful or aloof,” McMahan said.
According to members of the club, TFL is a place for people who feel displaced in a majority liberal university and city.
“TFL acts as a close-knit haven for right-minded students and promotes the values of the American Revolution on Trinity’s campus and in the Bexar County Area,” Mitchell said.
This past Tuesday, TFL had their first meeting of the 2018–2019 school year. Consisting of over 40 people, it was their biggest meeting to date. Conservatives, libertarians, liberals and people everywhere in between were contributing to the topic of the week.
“Our club is still a home for libertarians, moderates, centrists and anyone who wants honest discussion,” Westwick said. “We welcome and love having those who are not conservatives attend because they challenge our ideas, make for great in-club debates and we find common ground.”
| Class of 2021 | Majors: Urban Studies |