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Meet the conservative female environmentalist who's challenging the status quo on campus

Sarah Dezelin

(NaturalNews) Sarah Dezelin, a sophomore at the University of Connecticut, is defying stereotypes left and right. She's a conservative, she's a female and she's majoring in Environmental Studies. Concern about the environment is often thought of as being part of the progressive platform, but Dezelin hopes to change that perception, among others.

Like many other great women, Dezelin doesn't shy away from being unconventional. When she came up short of funds to continue her education, one of her friends put together a campaign to raise money through crowdfunding. Dezelin was honored and touched that her friends would do such a thing, and was amazed by the outpouring of support she received, even from total strangers. More than $2,500 was donated. She said that the overwhelming response that the crowdfunding garnered was "unreal." The "unbelievable kindness," as Sarah put it, was clearly truly appreciated.

More recently, Dezelin was also the recipient of a different type of award. In September, she won the annual essay contest hosted by the Network of Enlightened Women (NeW). NeW is a national organization with chapters on college campuses, serving to help educate college women on conservative values. The organization encourages women to speak out and voice their opinions. The NeW website states that it is the "nation's premiere organization for conservative university women," and that it "expands intellectual diversity on college campuses through its focus on education."

Given that Dezelin is majoring in Environmental Studies – a field dominated by progressive political leanings – the amount of support she has received is more than needed. If there is one thing this young woman wants to make clear, it's that conservative women can, and do, also care about the environment. In a phone interview with The College Fix, Dezelin said, "I feel very strongly about the environment and we do need environmental change."

Dezelin believes that better environmental policies could be developed for a two-pronged effect of both creating a better future for the planet, while also promoting economic growth.

She went to state, "Climate change arguments aside, fossil fuel burning harms the human population and we are going to run out of them sooner or later. So development of new technologies will benefit the economy and our future. We should be switching to renewable resources because that will be better for us in the end."

In spite of her obvious drive, Dezelin's experiences in the field of environmental studies have been filled with probing questions from her peers and biased professorial opinions. When asked how often she hears a professor espouse something about the environment that is clearly just their own opinion rather than a fact, Sarah laughed and said, "Every day."

She notes that professors spouting off their own opinions in response to questions is a fairly common occurrence, but seems to be quite understanding about it. "When you have strong views it is hard to express what the other side of the argument thinks or feels."

Her statement is quite true for all of us, but professors should be more mindful of the fact that they are indeed shaping the minds of their students; all sides of an equation should be discussed, not just one.

Dezelin states that she also receives a lot of questions from her peers, whose minds are boggled by the fact that a conservative student is actually interested in the environment. She commented that when attempting to express her opinions and concerns, other students have often insulted her intelligence. The other students made it very clear that they were not open to discussion or reasoning with someone whose opinions differed from their own.

Dezelin says that finding NeW has inspired her to be more vocal on campus, and that the organization provides her with support and encouragement. Knowing that she is not alone in her beliefs on campus seems to have given Dezelin even more courage to continue to chase after what she believes in.

In her defining statement for the NeW website, Dezelin wrote:

"I believe in freedom of the individual, the freedom of self protection, and the freedom from a large, overbearing and controlling central government."




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