On behalf of the team at The Jefferson Independent, I would like to formally present this new publication to the UVA community. The Jefferson Independent is a conservative-minded, student-led publication dedicated to preserving and honoring the University of Virginia and Thomas Jefferson’s legacy while mainstreaming conservative thought into UVA student culture.
Today’s launch coincides with the birthday anniversary of our university’s founder, Thomas Jefferson. Born 278 years ago, his legacy endures – one of implementing a community of academic excellence and worldly knowledge. Founded by the author of our country’s most sacred and historic documents, the University of Virginia represents the ingenuity, courage, and freedom of the United States of America. This legacy is our responsibility to uphold.
As a conservative student at UVA, I felt that reintroducing a common sense, patriotic news and opinion source to our Grounds was long overdue. Not only does the current largest student paper not take conservative-minded ideas into respectable account, but it also fails to fairly cover some of the most important issues related to free speech, diversity of thought, and civil discourse at our school.
For too long, conservative students have been inaccurately associated and labeled with evil ideas. The reality is that conservatives should not feel that they have to apologize for upholding the values of truth, justice, and patriotism. On this earth, there is only truth and opinion – not multiple truths. What’s more, not all opinions and ideas are good – and there must be sincere, objective analysis involved in discovering the merits of such opinions. The Jefferson Independent not only recognizes this, but also commits to bringing objective truth to the forefront of the conversation. We believe that conservatism holds the best qualities of the human experience in high esteem; that conservatism is worth advancing, sharing, and understanding.
Today, UVA students do not always ideate the ideals of free inquiry that UVA has traditionally embodied. Students have become increasingly anti-UVA, anti-Thomas Jefferson, and anti-free speech. In plain sight, students seek to censor their peers – demonstrating what is either a misunderstanding or pure disdain for the virtues of freedom. Not only is every form of speech a natural right – and its protection a responsibility – for a free society, but it is also enshrined in one of the most democratic and sacred documents in world history. All speech is free; speech allows us to rule out bad ideas while establishing good ones. Speech is at the center of our freedom – but unfortunately, not for 21st century UVA student culture. Our publication will bring these issues to light.
To see Leftist students discard any understanding of free speech and harass conservatives because of disagreements is unsettling. Given the hostile climate found amid recent controversies like the F— UVA lawn signs and harassment toward Young Americans for Freedom, I sought to bring like-minded, motivated, and passionate students together to collaborate on bringing The Jefferson Independent to life. With the help of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s Collegiate Network, our team is dedicated to bringing well-sourced news and conservative commentary to our peers and community. We will not apologize for good, conservative ideas; nor will we allow groupthink and mob mentality to intimidate us into silence. Free speech is for everyone, and this is why we value debate and hope to stimulate thought-provoking, open, and proactive discourse throughout Grounds. Truth, justice, and the principles of liberty that our Founder, Thomas Jefferson, invaluably brought to this nation are here to stay.
The Jefferson Independent is unique, patriotic, and cognizant of the importance of debate. We hope you consider submitting your ideas, arguments, and counterarguments to our Opinion and Rebuttal sections. Thank you for reading and supporting our publication – stay tuned to learn more about UVA’s 21st century student culture.
“Reason and free inquiry are the only effectual agents against error” –Thomas Jefferson