Plans for chapter of conservative women's group come to MU

The group will focus on ideology rather than campaigning and will read books from a national reading list.

Former Mizzou College Republicans Chairwoman Sophie Mashburn is planning to start a new conservative women’s group on campus next fall as a chapter of the Network of Enlightened Women, a national organization.

Mashburn said the group will serve as a political book club and described it as an alternative group for conservative women on campus.

“It’s kind of like a political book club, but other conservative issues will certainly be discussed,” she said.

Mashburn said MU’s potential chapter of the organization would be the first one in Missouri. She got the idea from another college student when she attended the Western Women’s Summit, a conservative political conference in California, during spring break.

The difference between this group and the College Republicans is the organization’s focus. This group would be less political and not as involved in endorsing candidates, which will add to its level of comfort for prospective members, Mashburn said.

“The thing about College Republicans, is its main focus in the upcoming year is with the campaigns, which is admirable,” she said. “This is more about ideology and less about campaigns.”

Mashburn said she is planning to get MU’s chapter of the Network for Enlightened Women started in the fall and the idea has already generated some interest among students.

“I thought this would be a great way to start back up with my conservative activism,” Mashburn said. “I think it’s going to be pretty easy to recruit people to this.”

She said they would try to get through at least two books each semester from the national reading list, which includes books that talk about the other side of feminism as well, Mashburn said.

“Any woman who opposes some of the more feminist liberal ideals popular on college campuses can join,” Mashburn said. “It’s not necessarily for Republican women.”

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