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California College Republicans have a new leader — and she's ready for a fight




Ariana Rowlands, chairwoman of the California College Republicans
Ariana Rowlands, chairwoman of the California College Republicans
Joel Miskiel

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Young Republicans gathered in Anaheim last weekend to elect the next leader of the California College Republicans.

Winning the vote was Ariana Rowlands, a college senior, Breitbart contributor, and ally of right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos.

The vote marks a change in direction for the group and a win for far-right conservatism. 

But some fear that a more polarized approach could alienate moderate Republicans. So what's next for the organization?

Take Two put that question to Ariana Rowlands, the new chairwoman of the California College Republicans. 

Highlights

It was a contentious race all the way up to the final votes being cast. What reactions have you heard in the days since this election?

Most people have been pretty gracious about it. A lot of people are really excited about the new turn in the organization that my election and my team's election mean. 

What are they excited about? 

We're finally going to change the entire strategy of the organization away from networking and electioneering and more into fighting [for] conservatism on campus, recruiting people who are excited to do conservative activism and then taking that energy and channeling it into campaigning for Republican candidates across the state. 

On campus, what does that entail? 

Often conservatives are suppressed by liberal campus administrations. This happens all over the country, but specifically in California, it's the worst. 

If we try to host a speaker — for example, UCLA right now is trying to host Ben Shapiro, but the administration has tacked on a large security fee to prevent them from doing that. So we're going to be fighting back against that and also unabashedly pronouncing our beliefs to our fellow students who maybe haven't heard the conservative side of the coin before. 

In the UCLA Ben Shapiro case, how would you go about doing that? 

Firstly, we're going to establish a California College Republicans legal defense team where we're going to provide lawyers for college Republicans in situations like that. 

Secondly, my team is very well versed in fighting back against that administration with the media, so we are going to be contacting a lot of reporters, having the club send out press releases, maybe holding demonstrations so that school feels that negative pressure from outside forces as well. 

Note: Take Two contacted UCLA for comment. A university spokesman tells Take Two that, as a rule, the university will only pay security costs for events put on by campus organizations if at least 70 percent of those in attendance are from the UCLA community. See page 3, #4. A conservative group contends that this rule has not been applied fairly. 

When we spoke to your challenger, Leesa Danzek, she spoke about a need to reach out to people with different political beliefs, such as Democrats, and come together over similarities. Do you agree with that? Do you have plans to work with Democrats? 

No. I do not. Because no matter what we do, no matter how much we concede to the Democrats, we compromise our principles so that hopefully the Democrats will like us. The Democrats will never like us. The American political landscape has become incredibly polarized over the last few decades and [it's] no longer worth our resources to try to recruit Democrats. I'm trying to recruit people in the middle; I'm trying to recruit people who are already Republican. 

Audio coming: Press the blue play button to hear more about what Ariana Rowlands has planned for the California College Republicans. 

Answers have been edited for clarity.