Campus Clash brings conservative activists to CSU

By Mollee Ryan

It was a cold Thursday night when young conservative activists Charlie Kirk and Candace Owens of Turning Point USA visited Cleveland State for their Campus Clash event.

The event took place on Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. in the Student Center Ballroom. Turning Point USA (TPUSA) is a non-profit youth organization that promotes the principles of fiscal responsibility, free market and limited government, according to their website. The organization travels primarily around the country to different college campuses, as they believe that is the most influential spot for their group to grow.

Kirk, the founder of TPUSA, is no stranger to Cleveland State, as he visited campus last fall, around the same time. Owens, a conservative activist, joined the organization last year and started touring with Kirk.

The pair started by explaining their views and were not afraid to say they were supporters of President Donald Trump.

Personally, Kirk is a fan of Trump because of his honesty with the public.

“He is the same exact person in private as he is in public. There’s no hidden agenda, there’s no secret back meetings; how he acts and how he talks to the American people is honest,” Kirk said. “What you see, is what you get.”

The two also raved on about how the Republican party didn’t win the House with this most recent election. The Senate was better, and more valuable, in Kirk’s opinion.

“If you gave me an option, House or the Senate, I would take the Senate in a heartbeat,” Kirk said.

They also touched on the topic of Brett Kavanaugh and their disapproval of the reaction from the public about his election as a judge.

Additionally, they claimed that Kavanaugh’s accuser should be “locked up” for apparently false accusations. With this, they expressed their disdain to media like CNN and The New York Times, that have been silent about the situation since Kavanaugh took office.


“One thing that just drove me crazy in the last week, is that one of the accusers of Brett Kavanaugh came out. She said she made up the whole thing. We did not hear about this,” said Kirk, to which Owens responded, “Lock her up!” among applause.

However, the only woman who came forward about any form of falsification was Judy Munro-Leighton, who falsely claimed to have written one of the letters sent to FBI Director Christopher Wray and now-former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, according to Business Insider.

There is still no proof as to whether or not the accusation itself is true or false.

“The local media was deathly silent, [like] The New York Times, which I believe is the enemy of the American people because they deceptively lie every single day,” Kirk said.

In classic TPUSA style, the floor opened up to questions at around 8 p.m., after the pair finished sharing their own feelings. All different kinds of questions came in about various topics including economics, moral values in America and healthcare. Questions supporting both parties came through.

One of the biggest issues that the two addressed was the able-bodied staying on welfare and food stamps.

“I think we need to put their backs against the wall and let their natural instincts kick in to fight. If you have to come up with a way to do something, you’re going to go out and get a job,” Owens said. “And if you keep telling them they don’t have to do that, they’re going to find ways to get around the system.”

Owens argued that she can honestly say those types of things because she personally came from a family with able-bodied people, wanting to “cheat the system.”

Owens emphasized this issue multiple times throughout the course of the night, defending her position if anyone said otherwise.

“They were definitely really straightforward people. Even if I didn’t agree with what they were saying, I found them captivating,” Lily Horn, freshman exercise science major, said.

The event wrapped up at 9:30 p.m. when, although questions were closed in the event, Kirk and Owens encouraged additional questioning when the crowd was gone. The two expressed their excitement to return to the university, hopefully in the next year.

“There is a possibility that Charlie [Kirk] and Candace [Owens] will return next fall, but it is dependent on the chapter,” Tiffany Roberts, president of the Cleveland State TPUSA chapter, explained.

Roberts is currently working on training her replacement  as president for next year, who would plan these events after her graduation over the summer.