With the new year, student-led political activism at Webster is expanding. In 2019, students began organizing the foundations of the Webster University Conservatives club (WUCON). These efforts were led by the former club president, Vincent Fedorko, who is now studying abroad in Geneva, Switzerland. At this time, the club has been officially registered and is in action, but club members
feel tension within the Webster community.
“I think a lot of people on campus believe we’re here to start drama and cause issues. In reality, we’re here to help. We have a genuine love for politics, and we love being surrounded by others who share our same views and beliefs,” Lily Reed, the current president of WUCON, said.
Fedorko has also commented that while people may believe conservatives are inherntly discriminatory, he does not think that is accurate. “A common misconception is that conservatives hate women, believe they should stay in the kitchen, and hate other minorities, which is incorrect,” he said.
The club’s mission statement articulates its intention to promote discourse amongst the divided student body in order to bridge the gap between red and blue, and create a safe space
for conservative students. This safe space, the club believes, is highly necessary. “Within the campus, I have found people telling me that they are more right of the aisle and are afraid to say some-
thing,” Fedorko asserted.
Reed agrees, explaining all the students at Webster want
their voices heard. “We know that the majority of students at Webster are democratic, but not everyone is. All students at Webster want their voices to be heard,” she said.
Reed emphasizes the importance of supporting political organizations at university campuses, to create environments where students are given the opportunity to discover more about themselves and their beliefs.
“College is about being exposed to ideas other than your own,” Fedorko agreed.
Reed also highlights the social aspect of the club, which facilitates the meeting of new and diverse people. Diversity, the club president claimed, is at the core of what WUCON stands for.
“We are open to other views, we truly accept absolutely everyone,” Reed insisted. Reed points to herself as an example of this inclusion, “Just look at me, for example, I’m a single
mother of two children and I have been accepted by every one in this club.”
A typical club meeting will occur on Wednesdays, characterized by discussions about policies, as well as film screenings, sharing food and game nights. This upcoming semester, the club anticipates a debate with the Webster University College Democrats and a guest speaker series. The details of these events are yet to be announced by the club but, in the meantime, Reed encourages students who are interested in finding out more to reach out.