Feb 24, 2009

Students head to CPAC 2009

by Daniel Martinez

Even with the Democrats now largely in control of the federal government after November’s election, it is still possible for Liberty students to attend a workshop titled “How Liberals are Destroying the American Election System.” This workshop will take place in Washington, D.C., just three hours after a workshop in the same building called “The Future of the Conservative Movement.”

On Wednesday, Feb. 25, more than 100 Liberty students, faculty and staff will ride up to the nation’s capital for these and other workshops in the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). According to CPAC’s Web site, it is “the largest annual gathering of conservative students, activists and policymakers,” and one for which students still have a chance to register.

The speakers include author and columnist Ann Coulter, radio show host Rush Limbaugh, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and popular politicians Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul and Mitt Romney.

Liberty, an official co-sponsor of CPAC, has sent groups of students to the conference for the past five years. This year, anyone interested can still receive a list of hotel rates and availabilities, restaurants, directions and even people to carpool with via the Student Alumni Association.

Senior Alumni Officer Mark Watkins is the contact person for the team traveling to Washington, D.C. and he is expected to lead a caravan of vehicles Wednesday afternoon. Other contacts are available on the event CPAC 2009 created on Facebook, and can be reached through the Student Alumni Association’s group page. Students still interested in attending also have to register for CPAC online, acquiring a student pass for $25 (not counting shared fees for gas and housing).

According to David Hart, director of operations for CASAS, CPAC 2008 drew more than 7,000 people, and registration rates are higher than they were last year, with the number of students in attendance expected to inflate from last year’s 3,500.

“Each year the LU group is comprised of students from 11 to 15 majors,” Hart said. “This is not just a government/criminal justice thing.”

Students of all majors will appreciate the nearly 100 organizations and media outlets that will be present at a job fair in the Omni Shoreham with booths promoting their causes, taking resumes and handing out information to prospective interns and workers.

“They want to meet young conservatives from all majors, with all skill sets, to help their respective organizations,” Hart said.

Liberty is holding a special reception in the hotel, where conference attendees, students and faculty will meet up with many local alumni and Liberty interns working in the area. A special program with guest speakers is planned.

“Both CPAC and the reception will provide opportunities for Liberty students to network with other student leaders from across the country as well as political and cultural leaders,” said Abigail Tuomala, director of admissions at the School of Law, who has been assisting in the planning of the reception.

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