First year Abigail Russell has begun her Trinity University student career with a movement to add the Libertarian Party as one of the government groups represented on campus.
Russellâ€™s mom, a steady Republican conservative, and her dad, a steadfast Libertarian, gave her a very apolitical environment growing up. Her parents wanted to put her in an environment where she wouldnâ€™t be forced into one party or the other.
Russell went to high school in Brownsville, a city right on the border of Mexico and Texas. Russell said she was a minority there, being one of the only white children on a largely Hispanic campus.
When Russell came to Trinity, she saw a libertarian environment and was surprised that not many people knew about this party.
â€œAs college students, we seem to think we can either be Democrats or Republicans. I am here to say that the Libertarian Party is an amazing option,â€ Russell said.
Libertarianism is economically conservative but has a socially liberal philosophy. It integrates a free-market economy with a focus on education. Libertarianism is a very â€œcolor-blindâ€ party when compared to the Democratic and Republican Parties. Russell doesnâ€™t see it being a major force, but she is hopeful that if more people know about it, there could be a stronger presence nationally.
There is a Libertarian group locally that Russell would like to get involved with to encourage participation in her projected group and to help get the group out of the Trinity bubble.
Russell and first year Kaci Lambeth are interested in spreading the word as a means of gauging the interest of Trinity University as whole. They believe the club will be an integral way to discuss bipartisan ideas and policies with each other without a party boundary. Russell and Lambethâ€™s thesis is â€œTo raise awareness of Libertarianism as a third party option through discussion, service and community.â€
Members of the Libertarian Club should look forward to an open and vibrant exchange of intellectual discussion.
â€œThese discussions, as well as practical, impactful activities, are designed to link people together with common passions while solidifying your own personal convictions,â€ Russell said. â€œThey seek to discuss topics ranging from Bitcoins (a black-market currency), to the role of government in economic or social affairs, tolerance and feminism.â€
Russell also wants to coordinate with the different clubs that already exist at Trinity University. She has mentioned SGA and the Sexual Diversity Alliance.
Russell is currently trying to go through CCI and is interviewing with Becka Bovio, coordinator for student programs.
Russell plans to go to a Students for Liberty conference, an organization that encouraged students to become leaders, particularly on college campuses, so she can gain knowledge on leadership.
As soon as the paperwork is finalized, Russell wants to create a Facebook group, Twitter group and post on Overheard at Trinity.