Megan Powers, Vice President of the College Republicans at New York University, clearly has her work cut out for her. As a conservative attending a politically liberal university, Megan realizes how difficult it can be for Republicans to openly speak their mind around here. This prompted the twenty-one-year old junior to actively promote NYUCR as a rare chance for like-minded conservatives to discuss politics. Additionally, Megan assists in scheduling Republican speakers to come to club meetings and organizing events such as the College Republicans versus Democrats debate.
Megan’s passion for politics began in high school after overhearing a group of boys trash talking McCain during the 2008 election. She decided to speak out against their ignorant surety that McCain was “stupid”, arguing that none of them, herself included, had anything more than vague political notions. “I wasn’t really doing it because I necessarily believed in these ideologies, but I thought it was necessary for them to be said and heard,” Megan said. “Kind of like fighting for the underdog. I realized then that politics was very important.”
After a grueling summer 2011 volunteer position for a state senate campaign left her disheartened, Megan decided that politics wasn’t for her and decided to attend NYU to study film and television. Within three months, however, she felt the inevitable pull to return to politics. “I realized that to me, politics is the most important thing that exists in terms of studying to create stability in the world,” Megan recalled. “Life is so difficult as it is. But that’s when I realized that even though I hated it, I was married to it forever.”
Megan describes here time at NYU as smooth, praising most teachers and administrators for their tolerance of her political beliefs. Her secret to success lies in her willingness to both listen and engage in a respectful manner. “If you go at them negatively or disrespectfully they’ll recoil from you,” Megan said. “You learn a lot more from people when you’re willing to agree that you’re not always completely right.” Although she remembers one instance where a professor tried to force her to march in Occupy Wall Street against her political beliefs, Megan’s ability to listen and not hold staunch viewpoints has for the most part kept others civil.
The College Republicans meet every Thursday at Kimmel with a core group of 40-45 people. To Megan, the biggest challenge in recruiting is climbing out of obscurity. She tackles this problem headfirst with activities such as political awareness surveys near the Bobst Library and an upcoming debate against the College Democrats on gun control and Mayor De Blasio’s recent tax proposal. When asked about their relationship with the College Democrats, Megan admits that it’s sometimes “back-and-forth”, but that ultimately the two clubs want the same thing: stability. To her, being politically active regardless of the team outweighs any rivalry between the two parties. “I think that many people don’t recognize the importance of politics in their own lives,” Megan said. “I just wish more people recognized how significant it is