Junior Olivia Valentine, secretary for Patriots for Ron Paul, was tired as she headed to a CPAC conference last year. Despite her exhaustion from getting up early, she was motivated because she was going to meet the man that she had researched and read about since summer. She was going to meet Ron Paul.
After her experience at the CPAC meeting, Valentine furthered her involvement in Ron Paul’s campaign, and eventually joined Patriots for Ron Paul, a student group on campus dedicated to helping Ron Paul’s campaign in the 2012 presidential election.
Patriots for Ron Paul had their first official meeting Wednesday in Sandbridge. The meeting was not a discussion of tactics or strategies to help Paul’s campaign; it was organizational in nature and the group decided on officers including president and vice president.
Patriots for Ron Paul has not been recognized as an official group on campus yet. Instead of waiting for official certification — which will be forthcoming — to begin conducting business, the members have gone ahead with meetings.
The meeting drew many different people who are attracted to Paul for different reasons.
“I guess I came to him through my experience here as an economics major,” said junior Joseph Taylor, president of Patriots for Ron Paul. “I support him mainly because of his message of freedom [and his] respect for individual rights and the Constitution.”
“We got what we needed,” Valentine said. “We went over the Constitution, which was required.”
One of the group’s goals is to get Ron Paul to speak at George Mason University.
“Our main goal right now is to bring Ron Paul to campus,” Valentine said. “We have a petition going around to gather signatures for people to say that they support him coming here to give a speech.”
Valentine added that with Super Tuesday coming up on March 6, Mason is in the running for Paul to give a speech, given the university’s involvement with Austrian economics and its convenient location only four miles away from one of Paul’s headquarters.
In addition to getting Paul on campus, Patriots for Ron Paul also has another goal. “Our broader goal is just to spread the message of limited government, free markets and civil liberties.”
Patriots for Ron Paul has different events in mind, which include fundraisers and lectures by professors on key topics. The group openly invites students to come to one of their meetings.
“[They should come] to learn,” Valentine said. “I don’t think people really understand Ron Paul. They just write him off as a cranky old grandpa. I don’t think people understand the power behind Ron Paul.”