2015 has brought change, new leadership, and a renewed activism in fighting for liberty.
Our new Vice President, Will Dominguez took initiative to help program speakers and events for our weekly meetings, and because of that we ran a very effective Recruitment Drive at our Campus's Spring Club Rush.
We printed out 75 double sided "Flex your Rights" cards, which were a very popular way to attract even unpolitical people to join the conversation. That, teamed up with the 10 question "Political Quiz," allowed us to identify liberty lovers, and while a few far left students had some misguided words about certain people with the last name Paul, we found we could all agree on the fact that Government is intrusive and that we wanted to work towards freedom.
We were able to get 63 new sign-ups, and two weeks later, 10 people showed up to our first meeting, a great number for a commuter school, and a record for our chapter!
We started off with Ice Breakers, and a YAL intro powerpoint, then moved to a more interesting discussion which has turned into a weekly ritual, called "Should We Allow It?" This first discussion was based on a blogpost on this site, asking opinions of if we should be allowed to sell different things like blood, drugs, sex etc. While answers of a few were divided, most people chose yes.
Over the following weeks this discussion moved into different areas like foreign policy "(should we allow) a Nuclear Iran?" for example.. and the police state "(should we allow) Federal Oversight of Local Police?" This has helped us stay current with world and national events, and stimulate great discussions in the group. This is a great tool which we hope to continue to utilize!
Coming up in the near future we will be bringing a speaker from a local gun shop to talk about his experiences in an over regulated business.
Besides meetings, YAL provides excellent opportunities to get involved in National Political Activism, and being so close to DC, I encouraged my leadership to get involved with me. Will and I attended ISFLC and had great discussions with SFL chapters from around the world! I went to CPAC and helped Rand Paul win the straw poll, connected with other YAL chapters in the area, and had great conversations with conservative students about liberty.
I also had the awesome opportunity to see Rand Paul speak about vital Criminal Justice Reform at Bowie State University last Friday with my officer Salvador Rosales.
Our network here in Maryland came out in force, with the UMD and UMBC chapters present, so I got a chance to hang out with them all after the event at the Buffalo Wild Wings in Bowie. It's my hope in the future to strengthen our network here in Maryland by getting our chapters to collaborate with events and overall just get to know each other! These experiences have allowed us to really feel the energy that goes toward what we're working for.
It's been a great start to the semester, and we are going to use this positive momentum to make strides in leadership, activism, and liberty.... on campus and off!