College conservatives were well represented at the “Wake Up America” rally held Oct. 7, in West Los Angeles.  The event featured the rock band Madison Rising and talk show host Dennis Prager.

The 1,000-plus member audience included many students from the University of Southern California and University of California – Los Angeles.  Part of the reason the event was organized was to respond to a series of fundraising events in the area for President Obama the same day. The students networked with each other and visibly demonstrated support for the ideals of fiscal responsibility and limited government.

USC sophomore Lisa Ebiner Gavit was at the “College Republican” booth, where she was coordinating the efforts of the student volunteers helping with rally activities.  Earlier in the week, she contacted many conservative student groups in southern California about event details.

“The reason I am here is that I don’t like the moral and fiscal direction in which the country is going,” said Ebiner Gavit.  “And while I almost dropped out of politics completely after Rick Santorum ended his campaign, I really felt the need to do something meaningful and work for real change.  For example, I think private charity works better and is more charitable than government handouts.  I am happy to be here, to expand our network and support.”

Interestingly, Ebiner Gavit is a philosophy major, which is not normally a degree to which many conservatives gravitate.  “I have a mind made for this discipline, and lucky enough to have good professors who offer challenges but haven’t held me back.”

She described the approach of one instructor, who brought up “hot button” topics such as gay marriage, euthanasia, and abortion.  While Ebiner Gavit offered the sole conservative opinion in the course, the professor still gave her an “A” for the class.

The USC sophomore said one of the best events she attended was the “Debate Watch” on Oct. 3, which included both College Republicans and College Democrats.  “It was the biggest turnout ever.  It really energized my friends, to see [GOP presidential candidate Mitt] Romney do so well.“

Ebiner Gavit is actively encouraging her fellow USC conservatives to opine in the USC Daily Trojan, which offers a regular “opposing sides” column.  She indicates that there has been a noticeable uptick in membership for her group.

UCLA sophomore Justin Sherrill also reported a substantial increase in new members for his school’s conservative group – but that there was a noticeable lack of enthusiasm for the Democratic Party counterpart.  “If you take a look, you see that student Republicans are really engaged and energized; we had 120 new people sign up in last month. ”

Sherrill comes by his conservatism via his hometown: Stockton, CA “Stockton is bankrupt because of the public service unions,” said Sherrill.  “Also, I am not a fan of the entitlement attitude.  I worked hard at minimum wage jobs to get enough money to go to school.  I can’t figure out why others won’t work hard, too.”

Sherrill, who is in International Development Studies in hopes of being a diplomat one day, regularly mans the College Republican table at the Bruin Walk, handing out fliers, promoting the Bruin Republicans, and debating various issues of the day.  At times, he has been joined by Anthony Anderson, an engineering freshman.

“My main focus is on the economy, when it comes to the Nov. 6 election,” said Anderson.  “I really am angry at the corruption, waste, and government over-reach.  Government is spending the money I haven’t begun to make yet.  This is wrong and can’t last.  That’s why we are here, to show that we get it.”

Ebiner Gavit, Sherrill, and Anderson were only three of the many young people who attended the “Wake-Up America” rally.  They are great examples of the independent conservative attitude evolving among our country’s college students, and offer a clear sign that America’s next generation is going to have a “Tea Party” attitude.