With the coming of spring comes new beginnings, especially at Michigan Technological University, known as one of the snowiest college campuses in the United States. Every April, after the long winter, students celebrate the warm weather by going outside by cooking out, putting on shows, and promoting their student organizations in an event called Spring Fling.
Being the local YAL chapter, we decided to celebrate a very special new beginning, and that is freedom. While people throughout history lived their lives without freedom of thought, forced to keep in line with their ‘benevolent’ dictator, the United States started a revolution, allowing people to rule their own government, not the other way around. And so, like the new beginnings of spring, people finally began to express themselves freely, allowing the spread of ideas that changed the world for the better.
To remind students of the importance of freedom, specifically freedom of speech, our chapter set up a booth and handed out various books and pamphlets, including pocket constitutions, and writings by various libertarian philosophers and economists. We also allowed people to fill out a survey to show where they were on the political spectrum, passed around a free speech ball, and promoted our showing of the movie “Can We Take a Joke?”
Being primarily an engineering college that does not emphasize politics or public service, our chapter only expected modest interest. However, many people stopped at our booth and conversed with us about deep philosophical and political topics. Yes, our ideas offended a few people, but sometimes that is the cost of free speech!
The following week, our chapter conducted the movie screening, which had a turnout of about 30 people. Regarding our campus size and expectations, this was regarded as very successful, and it exceeded our expectations.