Meet Aubrey Kenderdine: The Northeastern Student Who Was on Fox News

On January 31, during a lecture, Northeastern Professor Barry Bluestone made the following controversial statement regarding President Trump, “Sometimes I want to just see him impeached. Other times, quite honestly — I hope there are no FBI agents here — I wouldn’t mind seeing him dead.” 

Naturally, this remark sparked debate across Northeastern’s campus, as well as across the country.  Fox News hosted Northeastern senior Aubrey Kenderdine to voice her opinion.  

Aubrey and I met through mutual friends, and recently I had the chance to interview her on her experience appearing on Fox News and being a conservative in Boston.

How did you get in contact with Fox News?

They learned about me through an organization called Campus Reform, which trains students to campaign.  Campus Reform knew me as a prominent conservative on Northeastern’s campus.

How did it feel being on air?

I thought I would be nervous, but I knew my talking points ahead of time and felt very passionate about the subject, which made it easier.  I also had previous experience being on TV from being an anchor for high school television.  The hard part was not knowing which questions they were going to ask.

How did your family and friends react to your appearance on Fox News?

They were all very supportive.  Many reached out within hours to tell me they were proud of me.

Have any strangers reached out to you and reacted to your appearance on Fox News?

Most of the people who have reached out to me have been friends.  A few people I don’t know reached out and told me that while they don’t agree with my views, they respect me for them and think I presented myself well.

I saw that the NU Meme Collective made you into a meme.  How do you feel about this kind of backlash?

I honestly thought it was hilarious.  I anticipated being made into a meme, so it didn’t offend me.  It was a good meme too, so I give them credit for that.

(Kenderdine is facing the camera, standing to the far left)

How did you come to identify with conservative values?

I grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, which has a fairly good liberal-conservative mix.  Both of my parents are very conservative, and I grew up watching Fox News.  When I got to college I decided I was more of a Libertarian because I’m more socially liberal but fiscally conservative.

What are the pros and cons of being a conservative in Boston?

I’d say the pro is that when I do speak out, I’m more likely to be heard because there are fewer people trying to say what I am saying.  It’s easier to be influential that way.  The con is definitely the backlash.  I’ve had several negative interactions with people here.  Though I chose a liberal college on purpose so that I could be exposed to more viewpoint, I didn’t want to put myself in a conservative bubble.

What are your views on feminism and women’s rights?

I’m all for women’s rights and empowerment, but I don’t necessarily identify as a feminist, at least, not a third wave feminist.  I’m completely behind first and second wave feminism, though I don’t like the idea that the government should enforce change for women’s rights.  I think that in order to really make the world a better place for women, we need to change society’s values, which can’t be achieved through the government.  I don’t think women need the government to be empowered because we are strong enough on our own.

How has being a conservative in Boston empowered you or shaped your identity?

It’s made me more confident, and I’ve learned to articulate myself better. Because individualism is an important part of my political views, I’ve learned how to be more of an individualist.

Is there any advice you would give liberals in Boston on how to better understand their conservative counterparts?

I have one professor in the political science department who goes out of her way to allow students to disagree with her.  She’ll go on long rants and then say something like “But if anyone wants to defend President Trump, you can do so.”  It feels like a trap because it’s such a broad question.  How do I just “defend President Trump” in a few minutes in a classroom where no one will agree with me.  To me, it feels more like she is saying “If you are a conservative please identify yourself,” so I never say anything.  I wish that my peers and my professors would give me an actual platform to disagree with them.

Aubrey Kenderdine is studying biology and political science at Northeastern University, on the premed track.  In the future, she plans on using her education to be a doctor and reform health care in the United States. 

 

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