Turning Point USA is a club on campus dedicated to discussing conservative viewpoints.
The international organization, founded by Charlie Kirk, has had its fair share of controversies in the past, however, the club on campus only wishes to educate students on current political issues and present their viewpoints. They do this by posting fliers around campus promoting the club and encouraging people to join.
Not all conservative
The club does have an affiliation with the Republican party, however, not all members of the club necessarily hold conservative views, which is a common misconception about them.
“That’s one of the biggest [misconceptions], is that we’re all super conservative and all follow these conservative values. Another one is probably that we sit there and we just gather and we all agree and we talk about how much we hate people who disagree with us,” said Cassidy Gross, president of the Turning Point USA club. “We really do encourage people coming in with us and talking.”
The club is not meant to be any sort of replacement for a debate team. Their meetings are discussion-based, where they attempt to educate each other on topics rather than coming up with an argument. Topics such as the gender wage gap, gun violence, and the Coronavirus, are discussed every Friday in their meetings.
“A lot of people think that it’s a really racist club, but it’s not. We have all different kinds of people, anyone’s welcome,” said Skylar Ayers, a member of the club.
While most members of the club primarily hold libertarian, conservative, or moderate views, they encourage different opinions from new members from all ends of the political spectrum.
Turning Point USA organizes events nationwide where members of the club gather and listen to guest speakers and talk about the current political climate.
“Over the summer I went to a young women’s leadership summit in Dallas,” said Gross. “I went to a teen student action summit in D.C., and they mostly just talk about the current state of the government. In Arizona specifically there’s a lot of Turning Point speakers, like Representative Andy Biggs, he spoke at a school that we went to.”
The club, according to the organization’s official website tpusa.com, has a mission to “identify, educate, train, and organize students to promote the principles of freedom, free markets, and limited government.”
“I think the goal, for me, is to have our students with the same thinking to be able to have a safe platform where they can come in and talk about their views and what’s going on in our country. Also, our goal is to share our views with as many people as we can, even if that means the people who may think differently than this group,” said Gaetano Gianni, adviser of the club.
Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk is friends with Donald Trump Jr., who often speaks at club events at various universities and conventions. Kirk also created the “Professor Watchlist,” intended to monitor college professors who have a liberal bias and discriminate against conservative students.
Turning Point USA meets every Friday at lunch in room 503.