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The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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Pitt track and field athlete inducted into Delaware Sports Museum & Hall of Fame
Pitt track and field athlete inducted into Delaware Sports Museum & Hall of Fame
By Grace McNally, Staff Writer • June 13, 2024
Opinion | Long-distance friendships are possible
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • June 6, 2024

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Pitt track and field athlete inducted into Delaware Sports Museum & Hall of Fame
Pitt track and field athlete inducted into Delaware Sports Museum & Hall of Fame
By Grace McNally, Staff Writer • June 13, 2024
Opinion | Long-distance friendships are possible
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • June 6, 2024

Candace Owens discusses conservative values, current issues at Turning Point event

Candace+Owens+speaks+to+students+and+community+members+at+Turning+Point+USA+at+Pitt%E2%80%99s+%E2%80%9CLive+Free+Tour%E2%80%9D+speaker+event+on+Tuesday+night+in+Alumni+Hall.
Nate Yonamine | Assistant Visual Editor
Candace Owens speaks to students and community members at Turning Point USA at Pitt’s “Live Free Tour” speaker event on Tuesday night in Alumni Hall.

Candace Owens, an American political commentator, author and television presenter, discussed conservative values and current political issues at a Turning Point USA at Pitt event at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday to an audience of hundreds of students and community members.

The event, which was held in the Connolly Ballroom of Alumni Hall, began with a welcome from Lilliana Orozco, president of Pitt’s chapter of Turning Point USA. Orozco thanked the Turning Point staff for helping plan the event, as well as the security ensuring the safety of everyone at the event.

Owens began the event by discussing past negative experiences with the mainstream media.

“I am very awake and alive to how the mainstream media works, and how every single person at some point in life is going to be a victim of the mainstream media narrative,” Owens said. “They do not write nice things about me and they never have.” 

Owens said she believes that the college education system has changed within the past few years, particularly when it comes to the use of gendered language in the classroom.

“I would say it’s an awful time to be a college student,” Owens said. “College campuses have completely shifted, especially with [what is] coming from professors. [When you] are being encouraged to say that you are a ‘they,’ and to use that as a sentence describing subjects that are not plural, it’s wild. I don’t even see how learning can happen in that society.” 

Owens said she believes many college graduates who struggle to find a job in their field are “angry at a system that they never fully understood,” leading them to blame others.

“They don’t comprehend why they don’t have success and so they just sort of rage against what they perceive to be the machine,” Owens said. “Maybe you are failing and you don’t understand why it’s happening. And you’re a woman, and [you’re doing] everything you’re supposed to do as well, obviously you should be blaming men and the patriarchy.”

Owens said she wishes society could return to a place of “common sense.”

“I just want to get back to a place in the world where we weren’t all being gaslit, right? When crazy things are happening in front of us, and it’s like, oh, if you notice the crazy, then it’s because you’re crazy,” Owens said. “To walk up to a bathroom and to have a sign [that says], ‘This is an alternative restroom [and] any person can go here.’ Yeah, we already have this. We used to just call it, ‘bathroom.’”

One student asked Owens whether or not she believes in marriage “across political divides.”

“I would say you should marry someone whose values align with [yours],” Owens said. “Rather than thinking of it as Democrat versus Republican, think of it as a discussion that should be had for America, so you’re on the same page about what you perceive to be important, and how hard they make you want to fight for it.” 

Another student asked Owens about her “motivations” for supporting issues such as anti-LGTBQ+ legislation discussed in her speech, citing how they believe promoting small government while denouncing transgender rights to be “hypocritical.”

“These people are not affecting other people,” the student attendee said. “Why do you feel the need to speak on this?”

Owens responded by saying that the potential impact of societal issues on future generations motivates her to start difficult conversations.

“I am a parent. I am a mother, and how we land on these issues is going to impact my child, my children, right now,” Owens said. “The idea of them going into a classroom because I’m scared of being called ‘anti this’ [or] ‘anti-that’ … infuriates me and inspires me in a way that makes me never want to shut up.” 

Alana Burgess, a first-year economics major who volunteered with Turning Point at the event, said she thought the event had “a great turnout.”

“We had lots and lots of signups,” Burgess said. “We did tabling things and got lots of people to attend. We filled all the seats. I think that it was a very successful event, especially when you have polarizing opinions coming in and asking questions. I think that it was really great that Candace was willing to come out here.”

Orozco said while she is very happy with the turnout of the event, she wishes the organization could have allowed more people to attend.

“I’m really, really sad that we had to deny so many people,” Orozco said. “I didn’t anticipate it being such a big turnout. The community has been so supportive.”



About the Contributor
Anna Kuntz, Staff Writer