On Thursday, students lined up outside the Carolina Union to hear a speech by Ben Carson — a former neurosurgeon who ran for president on the Republican ticket in 2016 and served as the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development from 2017 to 2021.
Turning Point USA partnered with the American Cornerstone Institute to host the event at 7 p.m. in the Great Hall, which garnered around 300 attendees.
Richard Mills, the strategic director of TPUSA's college program said the organization's field representative reached out to chapters to ask who would be interested in hosting Carson. Matthew Trott, UNC TPUSA president took the offer.
Some students, like junior Andrew Sun, attended to hear perspectives outside their own.
"I care about going to events where the speakers say things that I disagree with," he said. "Having a chance to hear a conversation like that, just to kind of see what’s said."
During his speech, Carson spoke about a variety of issues ranging from his stance on liberalism to Christian faith in the United States.
"This country will allow a man to go from dire poverty to pretty much anywhere he wants to go, and it’s not like that in a lot of places," he said. "That’s something to be very proud of. But liberalism is really a disease that has seized our country."
Carson said this is "not an ideal time to be conservative" on college campuses. He said conservative students are being "silenced" in their classrooms and that it is important for them to stand up for what they believe in.
"I think our country can be saved," he said. "We’re different. This is America."