My tour of the east coast continued with a stop at UMass Amherst located in Western, Massachusetts. The UMass intellectual climate is currently monopolized by far-left organizations such as the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), the International Socialist Organization and the Radical Student Union. CFACT is looking to establish a new chapter there to help educate students about conservative solutions to current environmental problems, the economy and more.
UMass Amherst has been known for being a bastion of leftist thought and activism for decades. In recent years however, the campus has become intimidating to conservative minorities. Many leftists on campus no longer bother debating with the conservative remnant there. Instead, they attempt to use chicanery and intimidation to shut them down. For example, in 2007 a campus conservative organization hosted a lecture by Don Feder on the subject of “Free-Speech.” Feder was forced to end the lecture early however, after a loose coalition of leftists from the International Socialist Organization and the “Radical Student Union” began hurling insults and shouting him down. The outbursts were so disruptive that he could no longer deliver his speech.
Surprisingly, my time at UMass was relatively peaceful in comparison. I suppose this was because the leftists didn’t know CFACT was coming. Surprisingly, the students I encountered were very open to the conservative message. Over the course of the day I gathered the contact information of roughly 25 students. By sundown, I left, feeling as though I had collected enough contacts to start a chapter.
Over the course of the next week I followed up with the students that I met that day. Several particularly bright and motivated undergrads decided to become members of CFACT and resolved to start a chapter. The new student leader there is Dmitry Shapiro. Mr. Shapiro is now in the process of chartering with the university and he already planning events!
In mid-January, on one of the coldest days of the year, the group is planning to hand out “Global Warming Popsicles,” to illustrate how ridiculous the left can be with the apocalyptic claims they so often make about climate change. He also wants to take students out to plant trees. He wants to show his campus that conservatives can be for the environment without believing in “global warming” or relying on leftist big-government programs or neo-malthusian eugenics. The foundations are in place for a great year of CFACT activity at UMass Amherst.