Kimberly Murro talks to fellow UNT students at a table covered in libertarian merchandise: a roll of red, white and blue stickers proclaim “Big Government Sucks” in all capital letters, while a poster of John F. Kennedy condemning partisan politics and another declaring America to be “The best country on Earth. Period.” swing in the wind on either side of the table. Pins are spread across its surface, the classic red heart against a white background: I ❤ Capitalism.
Murro is the founder and president of Turning Point USA, the new conservative organization on campus. She transferred from Texas A&M to UNT in spring of 2015 in order to be closer to her home in McKinney. Since then, she has changed her major from education to political science with the intention to attend law school, and eventually be a politician.
Murro considers herself part of a minority of students on campus, but is still vocal about her beliefs.
“I really strive to not care about what other people think, especially being a conservative on a liberal campus,” Murro said. “The second you let people get under your skin and let you feel afraid is when you submit.”
Turning Point USA is a non-profit organization founded in 2012 with a mission to “identify, educate, train, and organize students to promote the principles of fiscal responsibility, free markets, and limited government,” according to its website. The grassroots organization also supports small government, capitalism, fossil fuels and gun rights.
“It’s kind of a challenge, I like it honestly,” Murro said. “Especially tabling, people come up and they’re like ‘I disagree with everything you think,’ and I’m like alright, let’s go, let me change your mind.”
In the current election, Murro is supporting the often controversial Donald Trump, but “more as a settle” than wholeheartedly.
“At the end of the day, you have to back the policy over the party because both situations are stuck with two pretty shitty options,” Murro said of the major party nominees.
Despite her lack of passion for the candidates, Murro regularly courts an active interest in legislative issues.
Middle school was when Murro discovered this zeal for all things political.
Listening to the radio with her father one day, Murro heard about a regional convention for the Tea Party. She decided to attend, and was inspired by the people she met.
While her love for politics grew throughout middle and high school, Murro didn’t fully embrace grassroots activism until college.
In spring of 2016, Murro became involved with Turning Point USA at the regional level. She enjoyed the organization, but even then was not aiming to open a chapter at UNT. Instead, she planned on being a part of College Republicans at UNT, but the organization suffered from leadership issues and became inactive.
“I got involved in College Republicans initially and then I kind of got sick of how stagnant it was,” Murro said. “There was absolutely no conservative say on our campus, which is why I started Turning Point.”
For now, Turning Point USA at UNT has 15 members, and Murro admits that getting people to join is no easy task.
Regardless of the difficulty, she plans to persist. According to her best friend Bailey Vert, determination is one of Murro’s strongest qualities.
“Kim [Murro] is successful in her organizations because she is so driven,” Vert said. “Anything she sets her mind to she can accomplish.”
Murro’s determination and faith in her ideals is prominent in the way she acts and talks, in the tone of her voice and the stride of her gait. She is confident, even when those around her disagree with her, and perhaps especially then.
“I am pretty independent and outspoken as a person, so I don’t find it hard to share my beliefs,” Murro said. “I’m gonna stand up for what I believe in regardless of whose name is on our ticket and where I am on this campus.”
Turning Point USA’s next meeting will be at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 15 in the UNT Gateway Center. The meeting will be an open forum with the founder of Turning Point USA, Charlie Kirk, and will include discussion of free speech, free markets, limited government and millennials.