While most conservative Vanderbilt groups went into hiding last year, one new organization stood out among the rest. Youth for a Western Civilization had a loud presence on campus, and they created quite a stir.
“If we lose our history, we lose our civilization,” said the Vanderbilt group’s co-founder Devin Saucier.
Students at schools across the nation feel the same way. The Vanderbilt Youth for a Western Civilization is part of the national YWC organization consisting of chapters at nine U.S. colleges/universities. The group was formed largely in response to the perceived need for an activist-oriented student group to bring light to the issues facing Western Civilization.
As a registered 501(c)(3) organization, it doesn’t endorse or otherwise financially support candidates running for public office, but rather focuses on raising awareness on college campuses by hosting speakers, activism events, and protests in defense of the West.
“On our campus, I believe radical professors who declaim Western history as racist, sexist, and all-out deplorable are a great threat to the West,” said Saucier. “I also think the various “Studies” programs which have risen out of post-Marxist thought and seek to propagate the cult of victim-hood are equally destructive.”
The Vanderbilt YWC chapter was founded last fall by then sophomores Devin Saucier and Trevor Williams, but the club took a more active role last spring. The founders specifically attach themselves to those issues often ignored by the mainstream conservative movement, but that are crucial to the preservation of Western Civilization. Both agree, however, that the mainstream conservative and libertarian movements are undoubtedly “much healthier than their counterparts on the Left.”
Last year, the group successfully protested the The Vagina Monologues, described by Saucier as a “crude, anti-male presentation that poses under the guise of eliminating violence against women.” Additionally, the club sponsored a talk by Bay Buchanan on the subjects of illegal immigration and patriotic assimilation. In the upcoming academic year, the club aspires to become more active with more speakers and activism events, but will not disclose any details for strategic purposes.
Not all students on campus are enthusiastic about YWC’s presence.
“It’s a good idea gone backward,” said junior Yoseph Beki. “It’s okay for an organization to promote a specific culture as a means for other students to experience it, but it’s not okay when an organization condemns other cultures as a way of promoting theirs. Multicultural organizations should be an outlet for students to experience something new, not a dead end.”
YWC has found opposition amongst various student groups, multicultural ones being the loudest. Even some mainstream conservatives do not agree with what the group has chosen to represent.
“I think its the extremist groups like that that drag the Republican Party backwards in the eyes of most Americans and provide the Democrats with ammunition to portray us as out of touch,” said junior conservative Republican, Alfredo Ferrer. “But our party cannot seem to be close minded, there’s a lot of minority voters out there who are turned off by that.”
The YWC leaders haven’t been deterred and actually revel in the controversy.
“There was a lot of noise about YWC last year, mainly due to the fact that the Left can’t stand the notion that conservatives are standing up and actually taking an activist mindset,” said Saucier. “It scares them, but also excites them, because now they finally have a group that they see as a manifestation of those ever-elusive -ism’s that they can target in their quixotic quest.”
Frannie Boyle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Garrett Sweitzer also contributed to this article. He is a freshman at Vanderbilt University and can be reached at email@example.com.