By: Staff Writer Will Rierson
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – This semester, students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have organized the newest chapter of a national club for conservative young women.
A group of female undergraduates met with Karin Agness, founder and president of the Network of enlightened Women, or NeW, to start a chapter of the conservative, college-aged women’s book club at the mostly liberal university.
NeW chapter president Emma Harrison said her group will set itself apart from other outspoken conservative groups at UNC-CH. “I think what makes us different from a group like the College Republicans is that it is more intimate. We can really get to network and connect,” Harrison said.
The UNC College Republicans have called out perceived cases of liberal bias from professors and hosted multiple controversial guest speakers in the past year, gaining attention from news outlets such as Fox News and Campus Reform, and the ridicule of the campus’ student newspaper editorial board.
The NeW executive board recently held a cupcake party as a club open house. They plan to read “The Selfie Vote” by Kristen Soltis Anderson, as well as host professional development and Women’s History Month events this semester.
“I thought starting the chapter here, amidst so much conservative negativity, would be a great chance to get females excited and open about their conservative values,” Harrison said.
In a recent trip to Chapel Hill, Agness told the UNC College Republicans that she started NeW while she was an undergraduate at the University of Virginia due to a lack of conservative discussion on women’s issues at the school. She said her campus women’s center was hostile to the idea of starting NeW. After graduating from law school, Agness filed NeW as a 501 (c) 3 and eventually quit her job as an attorney to run the organization full time.
Founded in 2004, NeW has chapters on more than 25 college campuses and two chapters for young professionals in New York City and Washington, D.C. Learn more about NeW at http://www.enlightenedwomen.org and keep up with the UNC-CH chapter at http://www.facebook.com/UNCNeW.