Constitution Day 2010
On September 17, 2010, more than 40 Young Americans for Liberty chapters took action to celebrate the principles established in our founding document -- the United State Constitution.
The creativity of these young activists is impressive. From 17-foot long Constitutions, to constitutional gorillas, to speakers and education, Constitution Day 2010 was a success.
Below are short activism reports from a number of YAL chapters showing off their accomplishments. These events are the fruits of your support and donations. Thank you for providing the materials and organization necessary for YAL chapters to support this very important day.
YAL chapters were encouraged to compete for top prizes and claim bragging rights for the next year. Chapters were judged on creativity, recruitment numbers, earned media, and quality of pictures and video.
And the winners are...
- First Place: University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Second Place: University of Texas-San Antonio
- Third Place: Washington State University
Honorable Mention: Indiana University-Bloomington
Congratulations to these hard-working chapters! Here are the prizes they'll receive:
First Prize: A liberty-themed HD flipcam -- $200 value
Second prize: A large, vinyl YAL banner -- $50 value
Third Prize: Five copies of Tom Woods' bestseller, Nullification -- $50 value
Please take a moment to scroll through all the YAL chapters' activism reports. Here is a table of contents of the individual reports:
- Baruch College
- Saint Cloud State University
- University of Georgia
- University of South Florida
- Indiana University-Bloomington
- Washington State University
- Duquesne University
- Somerset Area Senior High
- Clayton State University
- East Carolina University
- Vanderbilt University
- Whatcom Community College
- University of Texas-San Antonio
- University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Utah State University
- University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign
- Case Western Reserve University
- Michigan State University
- University of Kansas
YAL at Baruch tabled several days after Constitution Day thanks to a school closing, but the chapter was able to set up their display during the most high-traffic part of the day. The club handed out approximately 140 pocket Constitutions and created a "Free Speech Wall" where students enthusiastically wrote personal statements. They also struck up conversation with many eager students -- some libertarian and some self-proclaimed "flaming liberals" -- and eleven signed up for the chapter mailing list. Despite this good reception, the table was met with opposition as well, including an administrator who blatantly stated he would never support the group because of its association with Ron Paul -- but took a Constitution anyway.
Baruch students smile with their Constitutions during a busy tabling event.
The night before Constitution Day, YAL at Saint Cloud State University held a flyer blitz and a social so members could create posters for the next day and become better acquainted. On Constitution Day itself, the chapter set up a table for passing students to join in a game of Liberty Pong while YAL members distributed pocket Constitutions. A total of 17 new people signed up, and the Constitutions eventually had to be handed out on a more limited basis because so many people wanted them! Read more here.
SCSU YAL created a number of eye-catching posters for their display.
YAL-UGA had beautiful Athens football weather to pass out flyers and pocket Constitutions. They collected many signatures to bring Ron Paul to campus and planned further petitioning for the near future. Read more here.
The UGA chapter is working hard to host Dr. Paul at their school!
The University of South Florida chapter passed out Constitutions with fliers detailing their next meeting time. They asked passing students which Amendment they thought was most important and why. Many could not name any Amendments, and the First Amendment was the most popular by far. However, some students were well-informed and extremely happy to receive their own pocket Constitution. Read more here.
Students survey an impressive pile of pocket Constitution on the YAL table.
The rockstar YAL chapter at IUB joined forces with a constitutional gorilla to inform their fellow students about the Constitution. They handed out pocket Constitutions and engaged passing students with information about their upcoming events with Rep. Ron Paul and Dr. Tom Woods. Read more here, and take a look at their great video:
The gorilla acosts a passing student to share a Constitution.
After an evening of chalking and covering campus with flyers, YAL-WSU tabled all day for Constitution Day using the Operation Politically Homeless kit. Enticed by the colorful posters saying "student survey" and the full table display, nearly one hundred students came up to take the World's Smallest Political Quiz. All participants received pocket Constitutions and a flyer. Any students who landed in "libertarian," "conservative," or "centrist" on the quiz were asked to sign the signup sheet and received a copy of YAR. Group membership increased ten-fold! Read more here.
A YAL member chalks the campus the night before Constitution Day.
DUYAL's Constitution Day featured a prime tabling location on campus and lots of Constitution cake. YAL members gave away 160 Constitutions, collected almost 100 signatures to bring Ron Paul to Duquesne, and had 4 students sign up for more info about their group. They also gave out 8 copies of The Economics of Liberty, distributed by Students for Liberty, to students that stopped to have longer discussions. Another group tabling nearby began to read and help distribute pocket Constitutions as well, and a story about the event may appear in the campus newspaper. Read more here.
The YAL table is set up to prominantly feature the cake, which was a big draw.
Two high school YAL members from SASH traveled from Somerset, Pennsylvania to Washington, D.C. to visit the Cato Institute for their Constitution Day Symposium and for their Supreme Court Review. Read more here.
A YAL member poses in front of the Cato building on Constitution Day.
The YAL chapter at Clayton State University in Georgia hosted a speech by John Monds, a libertarian who is the first African American to ever be on the general election ballot for governor of Georgia, on "Liberty and the Constitution." Monds focused on the significance of the Ninth Amendment, and the event was not an endorsement of his candidacy by the chapter. A chapter member's Op-Ed piece was also published in the student newspaper. Read more here.
Students listen intently during Monds' presentation.
YAL at East Carolina University enthusiastically celebrated this year's Constitution Day, handing out cookies, cupcakes, and pocket Constitutions in return for trivia knowledge of the Constitution. Passersby could also enter a raffle to win a copy of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, or simply stay to chat with YAL members. As part of their display, the YAL chapter created a larger than life Constitution in which the text was replaced with modern violations of the founding docutment. The SGA and the History Department both commended the YAL members for being the only political group on campus to commemorate Constitution Day. Read more here.
YAL members pose with their table at ECU.
On Constitution Day, members of the small but quickly-expanding YAL chapter at Vanderbilt University tabled from morning to afternoon. With 200 pocket Constitutions on hand, YAL members distributed copies of the founding document along with Operation Politically Homeless quizes. Passing students were very receptive, and those who scored in the libertarian range were asked to sign up to join YAL. About 100 students take the survey, producing 11 new members. The table also received a visit from the Vanderbilt University police -- a total of five officers stopped by. The police did not harrass YAL members, but one did speak with his supervisers on the phone, whom he said were curious about the event.
Students participate in Operation Politically Homeless at Vanderbilt.
YAL at WCC attended a local Tea Party event in the town of Bellingham. There, they spread the word about red light cameras coming to Bellingham and passed out information about government red light camera fraud. More than 20 people signed up for more information about the group, and many Constitutions were distributed to other event attendees. After the YAL chapter contacted local media, the area newspaper expressed interest in reporting on the group and the coming red light cameras.
YAL members display their support for Ron Paul at their local Tea Party.
Young Americans for Liberty - UTSA created a 17-ft Constitution and displayed it in a populated area on campus. The chapter handed out over 200 Constitutions -- all they had -- and recieved 6 feet of signatures on the display, totalling more than 325 signatures. An additional 80 students signed up to learn more about YAL. The attention didn't go unnoticed! KSAT 12 (check out the article and video section), a San Antonio ABC-affilate, picked up the story and hung around for over an hour at the event. The event was also covered by a local blog and Students for Liberty. Watch the video of local news coverage:
Students sign the GIANT Constitution.
YAL UW-Madison had great success on Constitution Day 2010, passing out over 100 Constitutions and collected nearly 500 signatures of students who wanted to see Ron Paul come to Madison. They tabled on Library Mall, a hot spot on campus where President Obama spoke a little over a week later, and engaged in friendly conversation with people about our long-neglected founding document. The group collected information from about 40 potential recruits who expressed serious interest in joining YAL. Local news outlets ignored press releases and pictures which were sent out after the event, but a law professor at UW-Madison who runs a widely-read blog saw the event and very favorably covered it -- which elicited 130 comments from readers. It appears freedom is popular at UW-Madison! Here's a video from the day:
UW-Madison activists collected almost 500 signatures to bring Ron Paul to campus!
YAL at USU set up a table in a busy part of campus and decorated it with posters, banners, educational materials to give out, a sign-up sheet for their chapter, and flyers inviting people to Constitution Day events. The two events were: a speech from Constitution Party Senate candidate Scott Bradley and the community Constitution Commemoration event, the "Prelude to Freedom Fireside" at the Logan Tabernacle
Tabling at Utah State University.
Two YAL members at Urbana-Champaign joined two members of the Illini Conservative Union to read the Constitution in its entirety aloud on the campus lawn. The presentation was amplified by a sound system to ensure passers-by could hear. The two groups also passed out pocket Constitutions and created a large poster of the Constitution for other students to sign. The campus newspaper's coverage of the event may be read here.
Young Americans for Liberty at Case Western Reserve University hosted Michael Cannon, director of Health Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, to speak on campus on September 13. The CRWU chapter also tabled on the main campus thoroughfare, where they passed out pocket Constitutions, copies of Young American Revolution, and about 250 water bottles with a brief message of liberty and chapter information attached. A dozen new members signed up and the campus newspaper stopped by for pictures and an interview with the chapter president.
The Cato Institute's Michael Cannon speaks to a full house at CWRU.
YAL at Michigan State took action at numerous campus hotspots, passing out more than 100 Constitutions the chapter had received from YAL National. They engaged numerous students in conversation about their rights and the threat government often poses to the very rights it claims to protect. Although some passersby made clear that they were uninterested in their nation's founding documents, many others took the time to reconsider their own ideas about liberty and perhaps even learn something new.
A YAL member hands out pocket Constitutions to a pair of excited fellow students.
YAL at KU set up a table on the lawn of their campus library on Wednesday, September 22. They promoted the event as a spirited discussion of our founding documents, and many people of all philosophical stripes came by to discuss the Constitution and its relevance today. Many students, faculty, and library patrons accepted pocket Constitutions with the chapter's contact information on the front sleeve. Surprisingly, many people stopped by to ask, "But wasn't Constitution Day on the 17th?" YAL members replied, "Every day is Constitution Day!"