Having declared it Conservative Awareness Week the student organization Advocates for Conservative Thought [ACT] was out this week adding its voice to UM’s ever-politicizing campus. A relatively new addition to the spectrum of student groups at UM, ACT is taking advantage of the political atmosphere brought on by the upcoming presidential debate to shed some light on its side of today’s hot topics.
“We wanted to do a week of tackling an issue a day,” Sarah Canale, ACT president, said.
The week kicked off with Patriotism Day. ACT was on the Rock distributing yellow ribbons in support of American soldiers abroad, saying solidarity with the troops enables them to accomplish their tasks. The ribbons served to remind the otherwise unaffected that their fellow Americans are placed daily in harms way.
Displaying the group’s expressed non-partisanship, one fervent member told passersby’s in the UC Breezway that you don’t have to support Bush to support the troops.
Pro-Life and Family values were on the ACT agenda for Tuesday. Members of the organization spent the day passing out abortion statistics and emphasizing the priority of family.
“It’s a misconception that we’re the movement of stay at home moms,” Canale said. “We are not trying to regress, just trying to hold on to wholesome values.”
Liberating Cuba was the focus Wednesday when the group exposed the conditions created by communism through a video showing and follow-up discussion. They chose this issue for its pertinence to South Florida and its particular importance to certain members of the organization.
According to Canale, Thursday’s Second Amendment Day was as much but about guns as it was about “rights enumerated in the Constitution.” ACT circulated statistics on this topic that pointed to increased criminality as it results from stricter gun-control measures.
The week wraps up today with a speech by Doug Bandow of the CATO institute on an idea that may be largely unfamiliar – Free Market Environmentalism. The concept puts a conservative spin on environmental sensitivity.
Given that UM’s diversity extends to students political views, ACT has received mixed reception on campus. Freshman Shelby Kimbrough, a member of the Young Democrats describes UM as a liberal campus.
“Especially in this age group, because liberals are open to change,” Kimbrough said. According to Roger MacIntosh, senior, the university atmosphere is conservative, in part because UM is a private school.
ACT welcomes a range of viewpoints; its goals are facilitating dialogue among the UM community, focusing on the issues, and allowing for all sides to be heard.
For more information on ACT, visit www.miami.edu/studorgs/act.
Courtney Patton can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.