Young Americans for Liberty at Saint Petersburg College hosted a successful Incarceration Nation event on the last week of classes before exam week. The event was planned a few weeks in advance and information was shared by word of mouth for it.
The cell wall was built according to the instructions given on the YAL website in the video. The supplies were purchased at a single Home Depot location. The smaller end pieces, the 4 way connectors, spray paint, and PVC glue were gathered first. Then, for the PVC pipes, it was simple to walk up to the associate and have him cut up the pieces to the required lengths as needed. Then they were laid out and put together the night prior, which was not as easy as expected.
Everything was ready on time at 9:00 AM in the morning and ready to start the event. The event was planned to be held from 10:00 AM-2:00 PM because of the student life on campus and the location and size.
By 9:30 AM We were told they couldn't find the campus facilities on campus or an extra table for our group on the quad. The decision was then made to start early and to take over a table near the door way in our student life building, which was a great quick fix and no one bothered our group.
Many students were very interested to see what our group and project were about. Some students already knew of our presence on campus and joined us to sign some post cards and speak about justice reform. We stopped students walking by and asked the if they were criminals, with literature in hand from the I.N. event, and extra statistics that were provided on the Generation Opportunity memory stick.
Some students did stop by, talk, and sign up with us but did not want to take a picture behind the bars. We regretfully had one unique student who disagreed with our idea, claiming he wants what is best for people, a YAL member was chosen to move his conversation to the side and away from the table and cell wall.
Students were also handed flyers to join us at our final YAL meeting on the following Wednesday, two days later to learn more about YAL, and to watch the documentary featuring Weldon Angelos' story.
Our chapter learned a lot from this specific event and the rest conducted throughout the year. We are good at getting the word out for our events by word of mouth but this is never enough. Planning out with proper advertising is important.
Also The event could have gone a lot better if we had simply purchased our own table rather than wait on Student Government or anyone else to provide one. Our chapter enjoyed the work done on campus and all members will return next year again to help spread liberty and conduct activism events.