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Goodbye Summer, Hello Campus Visits!

“To travel is to live.” ― Hans Christian Andersen, The Fairy Tale of My Life: An Autobiography

To those of you who read this blog, I’m happy to announce that I’m going to resume regular blogging — well, when time permitted.

Hope everyone had a great summer! I know I did. Now that it’s September, I’ll be making frequent trips into the field (Northeast) to fulfill my Regional Field Coordinator duties.  I have the privilege of meeting with eager  motivated conservative/libertarian students. I get to visit places like NYC and Boston. I’m 22 – I’m young and should enjoy any opportunity to travel. Consulting fellow young conservatives and traveling to cool cities? I couldn’t ask for a better job!

Tomorrow I leave for New York to meet with students from Syracuse University, Ithaca College, New York University, Vassar College, University of Rochester, and Columbia University in the City of New York. Six days in the field will prove interesting and productive with meetings, club fairs, driving, train rides, people-watching, and of course, sight-seeing.  Did I mention I’ll be in NY during the U.S. Open and Fashion Week?!

I can’t wait to help students combat the Left on campus this Fall.  I, along with my fellow Regional Field Coordinators, will be using social media to document our campus travels. We will be tweeting and posting pictures with the student groups we assist/meet with.

We hope you join us in spreading the good word of Leadership Institute’s Campus Leadership Program! Kindly share/retweet our pictures.

 

Campus Reform Op-Ed: Universities lack moral courage to fire professors

I’ve penned a column at Campus Reform about Florida Atlantic University reinstating a professor who required students to “stomp on Jesus.”

Florida Atlantic University (FAU) administrators betrayed their school’s mandate and motto last week with their shocking decision to reinstate an instructor who was suspended for telling his students to stomp on the name of Jesus Christ.

Of course tolerance and diversity are beyond bywords at public schools like FAU. In fact the FAU university motto ironically reads “We’re All Together Different.”

Liberal administrators and administrators at schools like FAU, however, seem unwilling to extend these lofty principles to anyone who does not believe and feel exactly as they do.

What could represent greater intolerance for a religious minority on campus than ordering students in a class to stomp on the name of their leader, Jesus Christ?

This is exactly what instructor Deandre Poole did earlier this year, having his students write the name “Jesus” on a piece of paper, drop it on the floor, and then trample it.

Continue reading here.

Campus Reform OP-ED: Pro-Palestinian groups don’t respect free speech on campus

I’ve penned another column at Campus Reform. This week, it is centered around a video from Portland State University featuring MSA and SJP students denouncing a pro-Israel event hosted by the College Republicans.

Here’s an excerpt:

College is meant to be a place where free speech comes alive. Different viewpoints are supposed to be welcome and intellectual diversity celebrated.

For at least one loud minority on college campuses, however, the rights and the privileges afforded by the First Amendment only extend to those who share their exact beliefs.

Let me give you one recent example.

The College Republicans of Portland State University, hosted a viewing of the 2005 documentary film “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West” only to leave after the pro-Palestinian group attempt a hostile takeover of the event.

Before the event began, pro-Palestinian activists attempted to route the event by storming the stage making loud announcements about a competing event in the hallway outside where students could “meet real Muslims.”

When the documentary ended things got worse. The “activists” yelled, shouted and attempted to pick fights with the organizers. The scene was reminiscent of feeding time at the zoo.

Continue reading at Campus Reform.

 

New CampusReform Op-Ed: 2013 Commencement Speaker Lineup Excludes Conservatives

I’ve penned a new column at Campus Reform.

Here is an excerpt:

This nation’s elite institutions of higher education often claim to fight on the frontlines in the battle for inclusion, tolerance and diversity.

A quick look at the Ivy League 2013 speaker lineup, however, reveals that their so-called diversity is a front for groupthink propagated by leftist administrators and faculty who run these schools.

A new study, reveals that Ivy Leagues schools did not invite a single conservative speakers for commencement ceremonies in 2013.

Continue reading at Campus Reform.

 

Campus Reform OP-ED: Universities should reject fossil-fuel divestment campaigns

This Sunday marks the start of my weekly Campus Reform column. My first post is about the nationwide fossil-fuel divestment campaign plaguing universities.

Below is an excerpt from my op-ed piece:

Many institutions of higher learning are taking a wrong turn in embracing calls for divestment from the fossil fuel industry.

Radicalized students, faculty, and officials at universities across the country are demanding administrators divest school endowments from profitable oil companies such as Exxon Mobil, Conoco Phillips, and others.

For instance, students at Vassar College, Swarthmore College, Cornell University, and 260 other universities have called upon their financial administrators to divest from fossil fuels.

Although it is unclear how many of these schools have, or actually will divest, one thing is clear. If schools pursue investment strategies based of the feelings of their most radicalized students, faculty and administrators, the consequences could be disastrous.

Continue reading at Campus Reform.

 

Introducing Campus Reform Online’s Opinion Columnist

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Wonderful news – I will pen weekly op-ed columns on Campus Reform Online (CRO)–Leadership Institute’s news publication–each Sunday starting May 19, 2013. For those of you who don’t know, CRO is the #1 source for campus news.

Here’s more about Campus Reform:

Campus Reform, a project of the Leadership Institute, is America’s leading site for college news.

As a watchdog to the nation’s higher education system, Campus Reform exposes bias, abuse, waste, and fraud on the nation’s college campuses.

Our team of professional journalists works alongside student activists and student journalists to report on the conduct and misconduct of university administrators, faculty, and students.

Campus Reform holds itself to rigorous journalism standards and strives to present each story with accuracy, objectivity, and public accountability.

They will focus on higher education and leftist abuses on campus. Many CRO stories have caught the attention of the Drudge Report and similar news outlets. Be sure to look out for them starting next Sunday and to follow stories my co-workers report on at CRO.

If you’re a college student and want to send a tip about a leftist abuse on campus, email contact@campusreform.org.

LIKE Campus Reform on Facebook and follow them at @CampusReform.

‘There’s Some Good in This World…And It’s Worth Fighting For’

keep calm

Tomorrow I embark on a nine-day journey to the Northeast. I will traverse the region and visit students in Boston, New Haven, NYC, and Newark. Sadly, this territory isn’t kind to travelers of the conservative persuasion.  But in the name of freedom and liberty, we must do our best to reclaim it – especially universities there.

To quote Lord of the Rings: “…there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo… and it’s worth fighting for.”

Not all young people are goose-stepping Obamanites. The countless students I meet and work with are frustrated by this administration. Nevertheless their enthusiasm, their energy, and their indomitable spirit to advance conservative principles on campus will propel our movement in the right direction.

I couldn’t ask for a better or more rewarding job than this. My students in the Northeast give me hope. I empathize with them because I too was a conservative student in a heavily blue state. I know how difficult it is to advance a conservative message on campus.

That being said, we can and we must take back our campuses. Conservatism is still worth fighting for there. Don’t give up!

If I come across anything interesting or newsworthy, I’ll be sure to blog about it here. Be sure to follow my musings on Facebook or on Twitter at @Gabby_Hoffman!

New Townhall Column on Divestment Resolutions Passing at the University of California

I have a new column up on Townhall.com today about the University of California system embracing the BDS movement. The article is titled “Divestment Resolutions at the University of California Encourage Anti-Semitism.”

Below is an excerpt from the article:

The University of California system is living up to its reputation for being home to anti-Semitism.

Earlier this month, several campuses belonging to the University of California system passed legislation in their respective student governments calling for divestment from Israel. Resolutions decrying so-called “human rights violations” in Israel passed at UC-Riverside and UC-San Diego. UC-Irvine passed a similar bill last year in November. In 2010, UC-Berkeley passed a resolution in favor of divestment although it was vetoed by their student body president.

Divestment is a component of the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement by Palestinian activists in an effort to delegitimize the state of Israel. BDS’s goals are to promote the “Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination” by “ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall”, “recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality,” and “respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.”

On the surface, BDS appears to be benign and legitimate. Support for human rights in the Middle East? Why not! What could be wrong with that?

Super Wicked Southern New England: The Land of Fauxcahontas, Ivy Towers, and Foliage

Boston, Massachusetts

After spending several days in Southern New England, I have returned back to Northern Virginia. It was a whirlwind but productive trip. I had never been to New England before last Monday, so I expected a lot of surprises going into the trip. I thought, would I be tormented by the resident leftists there or would I be able to blend in?

Over the course of three days, I visited three states (MA, CT, and RI)  and six universities (Harvard University, Boston College, Boston University, Yale, Brown University, and Providence College).

My trip started off well with this incredible and touching sight at the Jet Blue terminal in Reagan National Airport. The yearly honor flight for U.S. veterans made its return to Washington, D.C. God bless our armed forces!

My first stop was Boston, the capital of Massachusetts. When I first landed in Boston Logan Airport, I was immediately drawn to the city. It was surrounded by an expansive bay, high-rise buildings, and clear skies – it was a beautiful Fall day in Boston. I really enjoyed the city and how captivating it was. The North End was one of my favorite places to visit.

Boston’s North End

I enjoyed walking the cobblestone streets of Boston’s North End, and seeing sites like the Paul Revere statue and historic Freedom Trail.

Paul Revere

Freedom Trail

Despite the Northeast’s reputation for being a leftist hotbed, there was some semblance of sanity in Boston’s North End.

Romney/Ryan 2012 in North End, Boston

If you weren’t aware already, Massachusetts is also known for its resident “1/32nd Cherokee” Harvard Law professor, Elizabeth ‘Fauxcahontas” Warren. Fear not – she didn’t affect my trip.

No crazy leftist would ruin my time in Bean Town, but it’s interesting to see where these people hail from.

There’s so much history attached to this building and Boston as a whole. I really found Faneuil Hall to be impressive.

Faneuil Hall, Boston

My time in Boston culminated with visits to Harvard University and Boston College to meet with students. Both schools were architecturally impressive and wonderful to marvel at.

Harvard University

Boston College

After Boston, I traveled to New Haven, CT to visit pro-lifers at Yale University. If you’re familiar with Yale University and conservatism, then you’d  know that William F. Buckley, the intellectual godfather of the Conservative Movement, went there and wrote his famous treatise – God and Men at Yale – about leftist bias there.

Yale University

I spent my third and final day in Rhode Island, the smallest state in the Union with – ironically – the longest official state name.

Providence, RI was unique. It was definitely too hipster for my taste, but a place one can learn to appreciate. Its scenery and old buildings were charming. It’s a shame that this state, like its neighbors, abandoned their roots and embraced leftist ideas…That aside, it was refreshing to meet conservative students from Brown University and Providence College. (And, if I recall, East Ave. Bar in the heart of Providence serves the best cider. Highly suggest you go there!)

Southern New England certainly exceeded my expectations. I may have even liked visiting Boston more than NYC – who knows? All I can say is that New England is worth visiting. And in my case, from what I gathered, more promising than I thought on the youth activism front.

Next stop: Northern New England, including New Hampshire and Vermont!

Bastiat, Beautiful Scenery, and the Big Apple

I recently returned from a work-related trip in the states of New York and New Jersey. Being the sheltered Orange County, CA kid I am, I had never been to New York before and was excited to plan this trip. Lucky for me, my job allowed me to embark on this quest to find and seek out conservative activists at New York  and New Jersey campuses.

Over the course of four days, I saw many things and met many interesting folks.

En route to JFK, I sat next to a Czech man also from Alexandria, VA. He was making a connecting flight at JFK to get to Prague, Czech Republic. The elderly gentleman, Pete, noticed my Bastiat book and then proceeded to talk about how great his work was. Pete said how much he valued his [Bastiat's] contributions to society and also valued those of other notable economists from the Austrian School. Pete recounted how he and his wife (who hails from Germany) came to this country in 1976. Pete quipped, “I born under Hitler and raised under Stalin.” At that moment, I knew then and there that I had an ally in him. He reminded me of my paternal and maternal grandfathers in many ways. Like him, both of my grandfathers – especially my late Grandpa Misha  – wore baseball caps, large vests, and traveled lightly. He also boasted this kind demeanor commonly found in immigrants from the former USSR, particularly the ones who saw what a nightmare Communism was in the Old Country. You know when you meet a stranger for the first time and instantly hit it off with them? This is exactly the feeling I got when I talked with Pete. Like my parents, he understands the dangers of universal healthcare, the failure of forced “equality”, class warfare rhetoric, and other radical positions this sitting president touts on a daily basis. It is always heartwarming to meet people who come from a similar background. Although I was fortunate to be born in the United States, I recognize Pete’s and my parent’s concerns about this administration embracing socialism and Marxism. I befriended Pete and plan to keep in touch with him.

Gabby Conquers NYC? Sort Of…

Once I hitched a cab to my hotel, I laid eyes on the terrible traffic that is commonplace there. What made it worse was the fact that the Messiah himself, President Obama, was in town for yet another fundraiser with his celebrity surrogates. How lovely. Those of us who hail from Southern California are familiar with traffic, and my adopted home – Washington, D.C. – was recently named the city with the worst drivers in America. New York traffic couldn’t be that unbearable, I thought. Alas, I was greatly mistaken.

Aside from the traffic, I enjoyed navigating the subway system. It boasts many similarities to the WMATA, our beloved metro system here in the  D.C. metro area , but had far more stops and is more subterranean than it. I had to get from Queens, NY to Manhattan to meet with students at the King’s College, so the subway helped out.

Kings College is set in the heart of Wall Street and the Financial District in NYC. The skyscrapers surrounding it tower high above the streets, and are worth marveling. (Yes, I did see Occupy activists in and around Wall Street.)

And the New York Stock Exchange:

Of course, no trip to New York City is complete without a stop to Times Square. Despite the rain that night, I enjoyed being immersed in the popular hotspot. Our gracious tour guides – some new friends from King’s College – gave me and Brandon, one of my field reps, a great but quick tour of the area. I was the only one in the group playing tourist, but that wasn’t an issue. Who wouldn’t want to enjoy the greatness that is NYC?

Following my visit to King’s College, I went to NYU and Princeton University.

Here’s a shot of Princeton, a campus I found to be beautiful with its High Victorian Gothic style. (If you were wondering, YES – conservatives exist at Princeton and most Ivy League schools. Sad thing is, many are closeted and afraid to publicly express their views.)

After spending several days in NYC, I went to upstate NY to meet with more students. I came across this thing before leaving the city. Apparently, unions display these rather disgusting, ugly-looking inflatable rats as a form of protest when they don’t get their way…

FACT: Upstate New York is gorgeous.

I’ve lived in suburbia my entire life, whether it be in Laguna Niguel, Coto de Caza, or La Jolla in California but have grown to accept and enjoy living close to a major city. Nevertheless, I’ve always been one for the outdoors since I enjoy fishing, camping, and hiking in my free time. That being said, upstate New York was anything but boring and uninteresting. The foliage, rivers, lush green pastures, and countless farms are great fixtures in the region. It reminded me of Lithuania, my ancestral homeland, with its crisp fresh air and nature. Here is a breathtaking sunset near Ithaca, NY.

One odd thing that I noticed was cemeteries located near every land-grant (public) university. Whether Syracuse, Ithaca, Cortland, or Buffalo, cemeteries are a commonplace in upstate New York. Beats me, but here’s more information about them.

One place we stumbled upon was this diner near Geneseo, NY:

It was NASCAR-themed and had a country flair to it. The food was also delicious. Here’s another view from the inside.

My other field rep, Simeon – who also graduated from UCSD this June – and I visited and met with students from Syracuse U, Cornell U, SUNY Geneseo, and SUNY Buffalo. I absolutely loved Cornell’s surroundings with its gorges, forests, wild deer, the Finger Lakes, and old architecture. SUNY Buffalo was our largest meeting with over 30 students in attendance. Each university was unique, and the students were equally passionate and dedicated to the cause. I can say that there is true, genuine hope in New York. Young conservative activists just need to be identified and equipped with the right tools to counter liberal bias on campus.

As I was heading back to D.C., I realized I was riding the same plane with Al Sharpton (think race-baiter, serial hypocrite) and Doug Schoen, Democrat and Fox News contributor. Talk about an interesting experience…

My takeaway from the trip? New York lives up to its reputation as an impressionable and exciting place. Los Angeles and San Diego pale in comparison to NYC with respect to size. Upstate New York reminded me of several places in Southern California, with its small towns, forests, and mountains – minus being a desert. While New York is a blue state, I learned to appreciate it and value the experience by not allowing politics to entirely get in the way of my trip. I’ll be going again in October to help students counter U.N. Day.

Next stop: Boston and Southern New England!

Update: I will resume blogging in the next couple of weeks. I’ve got some wonderful writing opportunities that I will .