What a week to recap at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign!
We started with our meeting early last week, which, with Uber possibly coming to Champaign, built anticipation for Constitution Week.
We saved the big Constitution Week event for Friday. Truth be told, it is becoming something of a tradition for UIUC YAL to host a Free Speech Wall for Constitution Week. It was my first experience with it, but many more seasoned students and faculty showed signs of recognition.
Throughout the morning and afternoon, many people had priceless reactions to the wall. More than one international student said that they intended to write things that would get them arrested in their home country. Faculty members, some more wary than others, scribbled messages in small corners.
I am grateful for the engagement and interest in free speech, as well as other fundamental liberties, in our country.
YAL @ Elizabethtown College tabled at our school's activity fair with the goal of recruiting more members than the previous year. We handed out over 100 copies of Peace, Love, and Liberty, along with many other resources, and gave one lucky student an American flag. Unfortunately, due to the pouring rain, we had to end our tabling early and neglected to take any pictures of our set up!
We were, however, able to successfully get 30 sign-ups within a 50 minute time period. The YAL team nailed it this year with eight participants helping at the table including 3 members roaming the fair talking to students about liberty.
Our table setup included the usual YAL materials as well as giant pong and GenOpp's national debt banner.
We held our meeting the same night at 8 PM, where we gave away free pizza and had a great turnout.
We recruited a number of new faces to our chapter and we are excited to see what is in store for the rest of the year!
For Constitution Week, Young Americans for Liberty at Millersville University hosted a Free Speech Wall on campus. This event was co-sponsored by several organizations on campus including The Walker Center, College Democrats, and College Republicans. The importance of free speech is something that all of these organizations can agree to, and we felt it was important to show a unified front on campus.
Tuesday evening, we came together to build our Free Speech Wall. First, we went to a local store to get out supplies. Then we worked late into the evening painting our Free Speech Wall and assembling it on the Quad.
We started off early the next day day by setting up our table and touching base with local newspapers and TV stations that to whom we had sent our press release. We even got a spot on the local talk radio morning show:
Once things got rolling, it was easy to see that our Free Speech Wall was a success! We immediately began to draw a lot of attention on campus. Millersville students were so enthusiastic about their First Amendment right to free speech that they filled up our wall during the first hour and a half of our event!
Students continued to squeeze things onto the wall until we finally decided to take it to the streets! We started exercising our First Amendment right to free speech on the sidewalk in front of our Free Speech Wall. Our event was so popular that we kept it going for an hour longer than we originally anticipated because we kept having students who wanted to express themselves.
During our Free Speech Wall we raffled off a liberty basket. The winner received a pocket Constitution, the abridged version of The Road to Serfdom, Are We Good Enough For Liberty?, The Intellectuals and Socialism, Economics in One Lesson, and several other pieces of YAL swag.
We had 104 new sign-ups and hosted a successful informational meeting, where seven new members came out to discuss liberty!
Constitution Week was a busy one for our Young Americans for Liberty chapter at University of Wisconsin-Green Bay! We started off by tabling at OrgSmorg, our school's biannual student organization recruitment event. We were lucky enough to get an awesome table where we could stand and actively recruit new members.
By the end of the fair, we had over 30 new sign-ups!!
Afterwards, we hosted an informational meeting to show our potential new members what we were all about (while eating pizza of course). Some of the old members used a South Park "Philosophy of Liberty" slideshow to put on a fun presentation for the new members, complete with hilarious voices for Cartman, Chef, Obama, Bush, and more!
At the end of the week, we built a Free Speech Wall which garnered a ton of attention from students. We even got our newly initiated members involved in the construction and recruitment process. It was a blast!
Constitution Week kicked off our first full year as a chapter here at UWGB, and we are so excited to keep the momentum going!
To say Constitution Week was a success at Southern Utah University would be an understatement, to say the least. Living in an area with so many people who respect and uphold the Constitution, we knew that we would see great success and have some fun in the process!
Our chapter originally planned on hosting just one event this year, the Free Speech Wall, but the Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service asked that we co-host their Constitution Day event featuring a giant replica of the Constitution that students could sign. We were happy to assist, and were more than happy to work on two events for Constitution Week!
Our first event, co-hosted with the Leavitt Center, was a huge success! Hundreds of students stopped by to show support for the founding document of our country. While at the event, we handed out pocket Constitutions provided to us by YAL National. We handed out over 120 copies of the Constitution! We also spread information about YAL via word of mouth while promoting our chapter's follow-up event -- the Free Speech Wall which we hosted on Friday, September 19.
The Free Speech Wall is a campus favorite, so we decided to bring it back for another year! Last year, our club found this to be a fun event that attracted people from all political backgrounds, as well as a great way to recruit students to join our organization. Thanks to funds provided by YAL National, and the building skills of our member Marcos Lopez, we built the wall in a few hours.
Last year, Citrus College YAL launched our initiative to raise awareness about warrantless government spying with great success. In the end we gathered over 300 signatures for our petition asking student government to denounce NSA spying, but in the process of protesting one egregious violation of our rights we stumbled upon another.
Fast-forward to the fall of 2013 -- Citrus College threatens the President of Young Americans for Liberty chapter at Citrus College for violating its reenacted, and still unconstitutional, anti-free speech policies. Today, Citrus College finds itself in a legal battle once again over its unconstitutional free speech policies. More information about this case can be found via FIRE at this link.
In this atmosphere, the Citrus College YAL chapter set up a Free Speech Wall on Constitution Day to help students understand the power of free speech and its importance on campus. Overall, the response was incredible. Among all of the students that we spoke to, not a single one disagreed with the importance of free speech in a free society. With messages ranging from “Who is John Galt?” to “Don’t Tread On Me,” it is clear that students at Citrus College understand the importance of free speech.
In addition to our Free Speech Wall, Citrus College YAL was up late this past week putting together “Constitution Day Bags” to help students appreciate Constitution Day even more. In every bag we put a copy of the Constitution, YAL fliers, pens, candy, and homemade fliers that we made ourselves just for the event! We think this preparation was key to our event's success.
We wanted to do something big for Constitution Week at Belmont this year, and figured we couldn’t go wrong creating a giant Constitution! So, we made our Constitution and set ourselves up outside the dining hall during dinner on Thursday, Sept. 18. There, we offered students the opportunity to sign our nation's principle document for themselves.
Between a six-foot tall Constitution and a life-size cutout of Ron Paul, we were able to attract a steady stream of students. Our signature space filled up quickly and we handed out over 100 pocket Constitutions! All the while, our members were able to engage passing students in conversation about liberty and freedom.
Indiana University's Young Americans for Liberty chapter celebrated Constitution Week by setting up a Free Speech Wall at the university's Ballantine clock tower Tuesday through Thursday of last week!
This year, in addition to free speech, we wanted to promote our theme for the semester, "Flex Your Rights," as well as bring awareness to some of the university's unconstitutional free speech policies. We split the free speech wall in half, and posed the questions: "What do you like about IU?" and "What don't you like about IU?" to give participants an opportunity to voice their opinions.
Students and faculty were eager to stop by! They had the opportunity to write on our wall and learn more about both free speech and what YAL has to offer.
Last week, Washburn University Young Americans for Liberty celebrated Constitution Week along with hundreds of other chapters across the nation.
We tabled in the Memorial Union to hand out pocket constitutions from YAL and the Cato Institute.
Amazingly enough, we passed out all of our resources within two hours! I am proud to say that our members did an outstanding job.
We were proud to make such a great impact for liberty on campus. But that's not all we've been up to. Keep reading for more!
"Let's Be Blunt about Blunts"
Earlier this semester, we started off with our first event of the year: "Let’s be Blunt about Blunts: The Economics of Marijuana."" title="<--break-->" class="mceItem">
We have had the privilege to work with Dr. Paul Byrne, whose primary areas of study are public choice and urban economics. He also spoke at our first event last year, when he discussed the impact and consequences of President Obama's healthcare plan from an economics standpoint.
On Wednesday, September 17, the members of Ferris State YAL participated in what is called "Bulldog Bonanza", which fell perfectly on Constitution Day. This is our school's student organization fair.
We utilized this time to set up our Free Speech Wall. Surprisingly, many people were extremely hesitant to write on the wall, and we found it sometimes difficult to engage our fellow students in discussion about the First Amendment. Several pocket Constitutions were handed out, yet many were hesitant to take those as well.
Luckily, we were able to overcome these difficulties! By the end of the day our Free Speech Wall was full, and we had several new students interested in joining our organization.