Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Power outage rocks campus
Power outage rocks campus
Jack Brandt September 13, 2023

Augustana students visit CPAC over break

A group of 10 politically-minded Augustana students, along with two from University of Iowa, headed to Washington, D.C. to spend the week broadening their knowledge of conservative politics for their spring break.
The Conservative Political Action Conference, or “CPAC,” is the single largest conservative convention in the world. The event tends to draw a huge number of young, college-aged conservatives, republicans, and libertarians. The conference takes place in the massive Gaylord National Hotel, a building so large it has its own set of shops, as well as the conference area in which the main events took place. The hotel is in National Harbor, Maryland, a city right on the D.C. waterfront.
According to the CPAC website, the prices for admission was around $300 for the general ticket price. However, the students visiting from Augustana paid far less, and not only because of student discounts.
“I had somebody contact me from a group called and they were helping scholarship College Republicans to go,” said Joseph Carroll, the president of the Augustana chapter of College Republicans.
“Just to be clear,” Carroll added, “This wasn’t specifically a College Republican sponsored event, but mostly College Republicans did go.”
Because of the Scholarship from, the College Republicans that did go received discounts that allowed them to stay in penthouse timeshares close to the convention center during their stay.
“I would look out the window and Marine One was parked outside of where our timeshare was,” Carroll added. “I could actually see the motorcade pick up President Trump.”
The convention itself included a massive amount of speakers, workshops, and events.
“Vice President Mike Pence spoke and did a fantastic job,” Carroll said. “Some of our Augie students got pictures with him.”
Other than Vice President Pence, speakers at the convention included President Trump, Betsy DeVos, Steve Bannon, and Nigel Farage– a student favorite, according to Carroll.
“He’s changed the future of Europe in a fight that he’s been waging for 21, 22 years, and he was very approachable,” Carroll said.
The intended keynote speaker for the conference was British media personality Milo Yiannopoulos, who was removed from the program due to controversy earlier this month. Carroll doesn’t believe that there was a replacement keynote speaker, and the CPAC website confirms this.
Outside of the talks, students also attended a filming of the Sean Hannity show, one of several news and political shows that filmed there on site. Workshops included activist training, career fairs, and help on resumes for students who may want to work in politics. Outside of these workshops, conservative groups had booths set up all around the convention center for certain political interests or the beginnings of campaigns for those who would be running later.
Carroll also pointed out how the size of the convention showed the wide array of ideologies on the right, but that part of the convention included a mutual sense of “celebration of the Republican control of the presidency” among all of the conservative viewpoints there.
Carroll shared that his favorite part of the convention was hearing Mike Pence speak, saying it was inspiring. Carroll hopes an even larger group of students goes next year.
“Our chapter of College Republicans is growing,” he said, “And I hope it keeps growing.”

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Augustana students visit CPAC over break