Former Leadership Institute intern and Indiana University Senior Crayle Vanest, who became the first woman on the board of the lobbying group Students for Concealed Carry, caught The New York Times limelight Wednesday, February 18 speaking out on two explosive college campus issues that have people fired up around the nation.
The New York Times’ article “A Bid for Guns on Campuses to Deter Rape” reports Crayle “said she should be able to carry her licensed .38-caliber Bersa Thunder pistol on campus, where she said she had walked unarmed after her late-night shifts at a library food court.”
The article also quotes Crayle linking the issue of gun rights to the issue of campus safety and sexual assault.
“‘Universities are under a ton of investigation for how they handle sexual assaults — that shows how safe campus maybe isn’t,’ said Ms. Vanest, who is lobbying Indiana lawmakers. ‘Our female membership has increased massively. People who weren’t listening before are listening now.’”
Conservative leaders like Crayle Vanest and Larry Pratt, LI faculty and executive director of Gun Owners of America, have helped put the prospect of concealed carry on college campuses and more expansive gun rights at the forefront of the national consciousness. They have done so amidst an ocean of controversy and liberal backlash.
The campaign for constitutional gun rights is a fight that has gone on for years in the arena of public opinion. The issue of sexual assault against women, reinvigorated by the Rolling Stone story “A Rape On Campus,” puts a new perspective on the issue. In the face of threats like deranged shooters and sexual predators, conservatives like Crayle say students, especially women, should have a decisive means of defense.
The Leadership Institute boasts a long line of graduates like Crayle who have gained public attention in support of hot button issues and candidates.
LI is committed to training conservative leaders like Crayle, giving them the skills and tools to make their voices heard, and shining the spotlight on important issues concerning the rights of college students through Campus Reform.
The Leadership Institute offers 44 types of training programs, working with more than 1,591 active conservative student groups, and helping employers connect with conservative jobseekers. Since the Institute’s 1979 founding, more than 162,508 conservative activists, students, and leaders have been trained. Graduates include members of Congress, state legislators, local officials, media personalities, and conservative organization leaders. For more information, please visit: www.LeadershipInstitute.org.