- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 24, 2001

Hundreds of college students in town this week for the 23rd annual National Conservative Student Conference are looking forward to a special treat a White House tour.
During the eight years of the Clinton administration, students at the conference hosted by the Young America's Foundation (YAF) weren't welcome at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. But with President Bush in office, the 700 students will get a special tour this year, YAF officials say.
The conference at American University, which will draw students from 27 states as well as from Germany and the Republic of Georgia, is designed to educate students about such principles as limited government, free-market economics, individual responsibility and patriotism.
"Basically, the best thing about YAF is the positive reinforcement that you get, because the liberal bias that you get on campus is overwhelming," said Maria Theodore, a 20-year-old intern at YAF and junior at Stetson University in DeLand, Fla.
"It's pure liberal indoctrination, and I felt like I wasn't learning anything," said Miss Theodore, who has been involved in the organization since high school. "YAF is a real encouragement. They're trying to reach out to high school and college students who are trying to fight the liberal bias."
A highlight of this year's conference will be a speech by David Horowitz, president of the Center for the Study of Popular Culture, whose ads in college newspapers ("Ten Reasons Why Reparations for Slavery Is a Bad Idea and Racist Too") provoked campus controversy this year.
In 1969, Charles Stowe, an undergraduate at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., established YAF to promote conservative ideals on liberally biased college campuses. The group's summer conference gathers students to hear speakers, participate in group discussions, and attend site briefings at Capitol Hill and the White House.
"For the most part it's students who are looking for something additional to their education, something to balance it out," said Melissa Moskal, a YAF program officer.
In addition to the college leadership conference, YAF hosts a high school conference, a campus lecture series, regional conferences and a Presidential Leadership Program.
"I love YAF," said Matt Bausermann, a rising senior from Virginia who has attended two high school conferences. "They combine great speakers, thorough information and a diverse groups of kids to make a really great time, and I just love it."
YAF's university lecture series this year sponsored more than 300 lectures by such speakers as Ben Stein, author, columnist and the host of the popular television show "Win Ben Stein's Money," and ABC News correspondent John Stossel.
This year, YAF joined with the National Journalism Center to help aspiring journalists learn "how to present the news accurately and objectively."
Three years ago, YAF purchased former President Ronald Reagan's Rancho del Cielo in Santa Barbara, Calif., and is preserving it as it was during Mr. Reagan's presidency.
YAF's $10 million yearly budget is funded entirely from private individuals and charitable foundations. It receives no government or corporate money.

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