Conservative student organizations bring Freedom Week to campus

Amy Sandquist

This past week, the College
Republicans, in collaboration with
the Viking Conservatives and
Campus Organization for Israel,
hosted Freedom Week activities
at Lawrence. Observed Nov. 9-14,
Freedom Week originated with the
Young America’s Foundation, a
national conservative organization,
and commemorates the anniversary
of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The College Republicans’ president,
Fanny Briceño, described the
goal of Freedom Week as “a weeklong
celebration to expose those who
don’t like freedom and to celebrate
those who do.”
Briceño went on to explain that
the participating campus organizations
aimed to plan events that
showed the ways in which freedom
is limited.
Briceño said that Freedom Week
allowed conservative students to
come together to discuss the ways
in which small government policies
are favorable and to contest “the
Obama administration, professors
and campus leftists” who “endlessly
preach for more government control
to solve policy problems.”
This year marked the fifth
annual Freedom Week celebration
at Lawrence and the 20th anniversary
of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Briceño described the event-filled
week as a “tradition” for the College
Republicans.
Throughout the week, Freedom
Week organizers set up tables with
cards and letters for Lawrence students
to write to soldiers currently
serving the United States. At the end
of the week, the letters were sent
to “A Million Thanks,” an organization
that sends thank-you notes to
American soldiers stationed around
the world.
Briceño noted that the groups
who organized Freedom Week “support
our troops very much” and
wanted to highlight the importance
of thanking American soliders “any
time we can for sacrificing so much
for our freedom.”
The campus groups engaged
with the community directly when
during Veterans Day, Nov. 11, members
of each organization volunteered
at the Veterans Affairs Clinic
in Appleton.
The College Republicans
capped off Freedom Week with a
program titled “Pints and Politics.”
Participants were bused to Michael’s
Pub and Grill in Menasha, where
conservative students gathered with
community members for beer, food
and political discussion. Briceño said
that the discussion leaned toward
“freedom, the military and foreign
policy.”
Throughout the week, the
groups also showed “Obsession,” a
film about radical Islam, and hung
posters around campus in memory
of those who died Sept. 11, 2001.
Freedom Week was the College
Republicans’ major fall-term event,
and according to Briceño, they have
been planning this week’s programs
since the third week of the term.
Briceño hopes that Freedom
Week attracts more students to
the College Republicans and builds
awareness about Lawrence’s conservative
student organizations.
“We are not radical right-wing
conservatives,” Briceño clarified. “We
celebrate libertarians and socially
or fiscally conservative individuals.
We accept any sort of conservative
individuals.”
The College Republicans meet
every Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. in the
Kraemer room of the Warch Campus
Center and welcome conservatively
minded students.

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