WASHINGTON, DC -- Conservative Members of Congress, newsmakers, professors, and
college students addressed the students and interns who converged on the nations
capital on June 26 and 27 for the Eagle Forum Collegians Fourth Annual Leadership
The Summit, hosted by Eagle Forum Collegians (EFC) founder Phyllis Schlafly,
provided opportunities for students to interact with other young people who share
similar views, as well as with distinguished conservative leaders. Sponsored by
a grant from the John M. Olin Foundation, the conference offered students and
interns encouragement to stand firm in their beliefs and become active on their
college campuses. The Summit was aired by C-Span and repeated at least twice.
On the first day the collegians heard speeches by Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (MD),
Senator John Ashcroft (MO), Peter Ferrara of Americans for Tax Reform, Rep. Dana
Rohrabacher (CA), Rep. Jim Ryun (KS), Rep. Joe Scarborough (FL), and Rep. Helen
Chenoweth (ID). Mrs. Schlafly led group discussions concerning patent rights,
the imperial judiciary, and e-mail encryption.
In the first speech of the morning, Rep. Bartlett addressed the issues of
mixed-gender training in the military, the patent bill, the trial of Michael New,
and the reasons why we dont owe the U.N. any more tax dollars. "You are our
future," Rep. Bartlett told the students, whom he praised for "committing your
lives to limited government and more individual responsibility and
Senator Ashcroft explained the need to "return the power to the people and to the
elected branches of government so that the judiciary doesnt ultimately distort
the will of the people." "The Senate Must Not Confirm Activist Judges," he said.
"Whenever there are judges who seek to amend the Constitution in behalf of the
people -- for noble purposes or not -- they have exceeded the powers delegated to
them in the Constitution, and we should make sure that they understand that that
excess of power is not something to be tolerated."
Peter Ferrara of Americans for Tax Reform addressed the question: "Will Todays
College Students Ever Get Social Security?" Ferrara said, "People ought to be
given the freedom to gain control of their own money and save or invest it in the
private sector," and he explained the advantages of independently saving for
Rep. Rohrabacher urged the attendees to "Protect Our Constitutional Patent
Rights." His experiences as a speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan helped him
to appreciate the value of creative efforts and expression. "I realized that it
was the creative process in the beginning that creates the change in a society,"
Rohrabacher said. "Our Founding Fathers believed that, with freedom and
technology, the future of the United States of America would be the future of
mankind." Therefore, the Constitution includes protection for the intellectual
property rights of inventors. "Weve had more patent protection than anyone else
in the world," Rohrabacher said. "Thats why weve got all the inventions here.
Thats why our standard of living is higher."
Americans for Tax Reform hosted a luncheon for the Collegians in the Longworth
House Office Building, where the students and interns witnessed a history-making
announcement that Congress had voted to lower taxes.
The afternoon session of the Summit began with an address by Rep. Ryun concerning
"The Need for Leadership in the 90s." He shared how his struggles to become an
Olympic runner contrbuted to his development as a leader. "You can have dreams
and visions," Rep. Ryun said, "but you need to surround yourself with support
people who not only know how to accomplish those things, but who will work in
tandem with you."
Rep. Scarborough heightened the collegians awareness of "Conservatism and
Christian Persecution" and stressed that "we have got to promote -- not
conservative values -- but just the most basic human values of the right to speak,
the right to worship your God, the right to political freedom. We cannot aid and
abet the enemy when they are persecuting Christians or Muslims or Jews or anyone."
He also challenged the students to "energize people" on their college campuses and
"dare to make a difference." He said that a person will be identified as a leader
if he firmly states his position and remains constant in his beliefs. "We have
too many people apologizing for what they believe in -- too many people trying to
be liked by everybody," Rep. Scarborough said.
Congresswoman Chenoweth discussed the growing concern about constitutional rights
and individual freedoms in her presentation, "Whos Making the Laws of the Land?"
She explained the importance of her efforts to reintroduce the Bricker Amendment
to ensure that the Constitution is superior to treaties, executive orders, and
executive agreements. "If any one of our Constitutional rights is abridged," Rep.
Chenoweth said, "once the Bricker-Chenoweth Amendment is passed, then we will have
access to remedial solutions and we will be able to address our grievances once
again to the court system of the United States of America."
The first day of the Summit concluded with an EFC pizza party, at which the
students could informally discuss the issues with Mrs. Schlafly.
Fridays Summit activities were held in the Russell Senate Caucus Room, the
historic room where the Watergate and the Iran-Contra hearings took place.
Ken Emanualsen, a student at the University of Texas School of Law, discussed
"Using the Internet for Political Activism." He explained the advantages of using
the Internet to convey the conservative message to a vast audience. "The Internet
gives you the capability at a keystroke to send a message almost instantaneously
to 1,000 people," Emanualsen said. "Its a cross link between telephone, TV, and
mail, and it takes some of the best attributes of each of them."
Dr. Graham Walker, who recently became an associate professor at the Catholic
University of America in Washington, D.C., spoke on "What I Learned in the Ivy
League," drawing on his experiences at the University of Pennsylvania and
Princeton University. Walker discovered that the prestige schools are "as bad as
they say." Comparing religious and secular institutions, he said, "I find that
there is a greater variety of political opinions in my department at Catholic
University than there was at Penn." Walker said that Houghton College, a
Christian school, has "a much sounder and more coherent core curriculum of
traditional liberal arts than exists any longer at Penn."
The issue of college curriculum was also addressed in the first panel discussion,
entitled "What Are They Teaching in College Today?" Stanley K. Ridgley, executive
director of Collegian Network of Campus magazine, administered by the
Intercollegiate Studies Institute, served as moderator of a panel that included
Yale University student Lila Arzua, editor of Light & Truth magazine, and Nick
Provenzo, a writer for Independence magazine at George Washington University.
The panelists warned students about "bizarre courses" and encouraged students to
select classes carefully in order to prepare them for the future.
"There is hope," Ridgley said. "The key is to dig down deep and find out that
there is a lot of good on the college campuses. Its not all bad. Education is
an exciting experience, and it can be even more exciting if you engage, as
opposed to being a passive receptor. Engage your professors in dialogue.
Educate yourself. Supplement your education. hat can be a rewarding experience,
and thats what college should be about." Provenzo encouraged students to
challenge educators, because he said that the responsibility to get a quality
education rests on each student. "Focus on what you want to get out of your
education. There are tremendous opportunities and resources if you are willing
to take the initiative," Provenzo said. "Dont be afraid to challenge or
investigate or comment on the instruction youre receiving. Be willing to take
whatever action is necessary to get that education."
Joe Galli, chairman of the College Republicans, shared his insights about "Todays
Conservative Youth Movement." Galli discussed why he thinks young people are
becoming less and less conservative and offered a challenge to the Collegians.
"Our generation has become less and less conservative since Ronald Reagan," Galli
said. "You need to continue a discussion, a dialogue, on campuses about issues
-- about important issues that are going on in D.C." Galli explained that students
need to "try to find a compelling reason for people to be involved" in politics
and urged the Collegians to "get active on campus."
Mark Montini advised students how to increase involvement in conservative
organizations on college campuses. In his presentation, "Organizing College
Students -- Is It Possible?", Montini suggested solutions for many of the problems
that arise in campus organizations. He advised leaders to "focus on getting
philosophically committed people involved and generating enthusiasm." He outlined
steps a group should use to organize members and to successfully run an
organization that will accomplish its goals and attract -- and keep -- new members.
"Make it fun," he said. "Thats what brings people back."
During lunch, served in the Senate Caucus Room, the collegians were able to share
their concerns with the speakers and ask one-on-one questions.
The afternoon session began with an address by University of Illinois graduate
Joel Mowbray, who described the importance of "Bringing Awareness about Social
Security to Campus." Mowbray, who will be attending Georgetown Law School in the
fall, called Social Security a Ponzi scheme and stressed the benefits of
privatization. "The federal government operates the worlds largest pyramid
scheme with social security, forcing every worker to fund the retirements of
current seniors, and no money is being saved for the future retirements of
todays workers," Mowbray said. "Under a private system, every worker would be
saving for his or her own retirement."
Rob Corry and Adam Ross each presented information about "Affirmative Racism on
College Campuses." Corry, who is counsel for the House Judiciary Subcommittee on
the Constitution, won a landmark First Amendment case striking down a speech code
at Stanford University when he attended law school there. "It is wrong to
prohibit freedom of students speech just because it opposes the schools
beliefs," Corry said. Ross, who was president of the EFC chapter at Stanford
University, is now a law student at the University of Texas at Austin, where he
is the founder and editor-in-chief of the conservative publication, the Texas
Review of Law & Politics. He discussed the impact that racial discrimination and
preferences have on minorities and majorities, particularly in the academic
world. "Were not dealing with affirmative action as affirmative action was
originally intended," Ross said. "We are dealing with racial preferences --
treating people not as individuals, but as members of different groups."
The final presentation of the day was a panel discussion entitled "How to Publish
a Conservative College Newspaper," which was moderated by Ridgley of the Collegian
Network and included advice from Xandy Gillman of The Duke Review at Duke
University and from Morgan Knull, founder and editor of The Wabash Commentary at
Wabash College. "If the intellectual climate of university campuses was such that
there were rational discourse and a marketplace of ideas, thenthere would be no
need for a conservative newspaper, and we could work within the system to
dialogue with the left," Ridgley said. "Unfortunately, certain ideas are simply
not acceptable; you cant publish them."
The panelists offered encouragement to students who want to publish college
newspapers that address unpopular views. "On individual campuses, you can really
see how the [conservative] papers have interjected accountability into the
system," Knull said. "I think the papers have had an incredible impact." Gillman
encouraged students to speak out on issues despite their fears. "Be bold and
blunt," Gillman said. "Your job is to present your side."
The Summit participants -- conservative leaders of the future -- accepted the
challenge to use what they have learned. "The challenge is whats exciting about
college," Ridgley said. "It ought to be a challenge, and its one that you should
-- by Denise M. DeLancey