Success! Young Americans for Liberty’s newly established chapter at American University received a very favorable turnout last night at our first ever general meeting. Almost forty liberty lovers showed up to learn about the organization and how they can join the fight to preserve liberty. Chapter president John Nagle led a presentation explaining AU YAL’s mission and why liberty matters. Vice president Daniel Rubino and treasurer Dan Savickas followed with overviews of personal and economic freedom, respectively.
AU YAL was thrilled to be joined by staff sponsor and adjunct professor Baylen Linnekin, a specialist in food policy and founder and executive director of Keep Food Legal Foundation. Professor Linnekin explained how government regulations and subsidies on foods such as tomatoes and beef have created high prices and low output, crippling markets and the wallets of consumers. Furthermore, Linnekin asserted his belief that people should have the freedom to decide what they eat, supporting the decision by many to grow their own organic produce.
Following professor Linnekin’s presentation, Secretary Gabriel Benitez discussed upcoming events catered to like-minded libertarians. One such event, the International Students for Liberty Conference (Feb. 13-15), will attract thousands of liberty lovers from across the globe for the largest gathering of young libertarians in the world. Prominent libertarian thinkers such as Nick Gillespie, John Stossel, and a first in ISFLC history: Dr. Ron Paul! In addition to ISFLC, YAL members are also invited to register for the 2015 Conservative Political Action Committee, or CPAC (February 25-28) and the YAL State Convention on April 18 @ Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, VA.
As if that wasn’t exciting enough, president John Nagle announced AU YAL’s first speaker: libertarian author Dr. Tom Woods! AU YAL is very excited for the opportunity to host Dr. Woods on April 9 for a discussion on the United States Constitution. Finally, president John Nagle raffled off a copy of Tom Palmer’s Why Liberty: Your Life, Your Choices, Your Future to a lucky member of the audience. It is safe to say that AU YAL is very satisfied with the turnout of the chapter’s very first general meeting and hopes to further encourage and inspire AU students to fight for liberty.
Last week, Cal State Fullerton held its Days of Discovery where all student organizations were able to set up and recruit new members. As students started wandering the Central Quad according to their interest, our set up for YAL was grouped with the political/social action clubs in front of the Humanities building. Although some students purposely avoid the section, many were willing to participate in the World's Smallest Political Quiz.
Many admitted that they were simply turned off by politics but completely agreed that we need to stop the labeling and look at issues beyond a black and white perspective. The results showed a concentration of students in between centrist and libertarian, though many leaned left or right. Still, students had no idea you could be a "centrist" or had never heard the term "libertarian" before. Of course, we were glad to inform them and encourage them to sign-up for our club.
After the two days, we added 40 new subscribers to our e-mail list and had a good turnout at our first meeting Monday evening.
At our meeting, we gathered around the TSU Underground Fireside Lounge and used the “Intro to YAL” PowerPoint to welcome students. Since our meeting took place after Super Bowl Sunday, we watched Reason TV’s “Top 5 NFL Hits to Taxpayers”. Students were shocked that 94% of the cost ($449.8 million) to build the Paul Brown Stadium for the Cincinnati Bengals was funded by the public, and disgusted at the list of taxes as sources of funding. It definitely lit a fire!
Moving on to business, we elected our Vice-president and Activism Coordinator and promoted some ideas for activism for the month of February. Students are definitely ready for action this Spring Semester.
This semester the University of Cincinnati YAL team got together and discussed many different way to draw new people into the group during this dreadfully cold weather. We decided on 3-weeks of social mixers. To advertise our chapter we went to the Student Organization Fair. We had three of our members and some help from our YAL State Chair, Amanda Hale, and Regional Field Coordinator for The Leadership Institute, Kristen Dobson.
When tabling we advertised the standard YAL information and told people our meeting would include pizza, drinks, and that we were playing Cards Against Humanity.
We met on Mondays at 7pm, by 6:40PM we had people showing up. They were excited about the group. We started off the meeting by telling new people what our vision is for the semester and how they could participate.
Then the fun began! We had a blast playing Cards Against Humanity. Tons of memories were made. And that is the point. Here we want to establish friendships and then through these friendships we are creating a large YAL chapter that is going to make a difference here on the University of Cincinnati Campus.
Jake Grant and Young Americans for Liberty at San Diego State University hosted Dinesh D'Souza's movie "America: Imagine a World Without Her" and had 20+ people attend the showing. People were so captivated by the rhetoric that they forgot to eat the pizza located at the front of the theatre. One student Jacob Santo Domingo was quoted as saying:
"I never really thought about conquest verses innovation in terms of a country growing more powerful. The former is ingrained in people’s minds so much that the latter somehow becomes forgotten and overlooked. "America: Imagine a World Without Her", reminded me of the power of the individual to create their own destiny. It reminded me how resourceful our country can be. It reinforces the idea that the United States remains one of the most innovative countries in the world."
"America is still a beacon of hope, unlike what most of the media paints it to be. However, just like a clock, it must be well lubricated with the oil of liberty. If not, then rust will take over and make it stop ticking. Young Americans for Liberty is dedicated to spreading awareness of the need for the next generation to preserve their heritage of freedom."
Jake was also gracious enough to take photos of the event with his camera.
“If you make enough laws, everybody’s a criminal.” – Justin Hanners
This past week was very successful for the Auburn University chapter of Young Americans for Liberty. In order to promote our "Flex Your Rights" campaign, members tabled in the Student Center and on the concourse Monday through Friday. We collected 54 sign-ups for our email list!
Rather than holding our normal Thursday meeting, former Auburn police officer, Justin Hanners, came to speak. A record breaking 65 people were present for free pizza and to hear Mr. Hanners's story. Because of the high volume of attendees, we had to switch rooms twice.
Mr. Hanners was fired from the Auburn police force for exposing a ticket and arrest quota. This erroneous policy puts individual Auburn citizens at a 200% chance of a negative interaction with police. Police officers are required to have 100 contacts per month; 40 of those could be warnings, but the remaining 60 must be traffic citations, non-traffic citations, and arrests.
In addition to sharing his story, Mr. Hanners elaborated on our Constitutional rights and how to use them when encountering police. He highlighted the importance of filming the police, always trying to be the good guy in the situation, and never consenting to a search.
We distributed wallet-sized cards with a few tips for dealing with police. There will be more for people to pick up when they visit our table. Also, the meeting was recorded for anyone who missed it or wants to listen again! The video will be uploaded to our Facebook page soon.
Eugene, OR – The Young Americans for Liberty chapter at the University of Oregon gave away firearms and firearm accessories at their latest activism event on Friday night.
Around 65 students and community members showed up to play no limit Texas hold ‘em style poker for a a 9mm semi-automatic handgun and a gun range membership. The runners-up won other prizes including a semi-automatic .22 rifle with a high capacity magazine, gift certificates to local gun shops, and an assortment of poker accessories.
Young Americans for Liberty at UO partnered with Project Liberty and local gun shop in the Eugene area to host the event to promote gun culture and start a campus wide dialogue about student safety on campus.
Thomas Tullis, president of YAL at UO was pleased with the turnout from the student body. “The reaction from students was overwhelmingly positive. A lot of the students were very excited for the chance to win a free firearm.”
Despite a mostly positive reaction from the student body, UO student government did receive a formal complaint regarding the event from a graduate student who was under the impression that there could be firearms on campus. Event organizers for Liberty Poker Night were contacted by both the Dean of Students, the director of event services and members of the student government sternly warning them of the prohibition of firearms on campus grounds.
“With the administration talking about rape culture and showing concern for the safety of students, we thought it would be a great way to stir up discussion about a common sense approach to solving violent crime,” said Lauren Groleau, Secretary of YAL at UO.
“It’s pretty clear there is a big disconnect between the students and the administration. Students are aware of violent crimes on campus and they want to be prepared. Just because an American citizen wants an education doesn’t mean he or she should be required to surrender their rights,” said organizer Josh Brainard of Project Liberty.
Other groups on campus expressed enthusiastic support including the President of the UO veterans club, Matti Cone.
There was also free libertarian literature provided that was available for all who showed up. As a placeholder for the firearm prizes, YAL brought two empty gun cases. Police and university officials were notified beforehand that these cases would be empty. The event ran until 11:00pm when a winner was declared.
UO Young Americans for Liberty meets at 6:30 every Thursday evening in Peterson 103. Students and community members from all sides of the political spectrum are welcome.
As all of you are aware the Young Americans for Liberty state conventions are coming up very soon. The North Carolina convention is in just a few days. One thing to keep in mind while you’re at the convention is the sponsors that you will meet there. My suggestion for everyone attending is to reach out to them and build connections. Many of the sponsors have been very beneficial for Young Americans for Liberty at the University of Tennessee.
The Leadership Institute, came to Knoxville from DC to do a campus workshop (the publications workshop) with our chapter members. We are starting our own campus newspaper, the Railing Cry. I met both of these organizations at the 2014 YAL National Convention.
Sterling Beard gave the best presentations that you could think of on the beginnings of how to start a campus newspaper. We are confident that with this training we will have the best newspaper on campus, compared to the University of Tennessee’s daily “newspaper” that no one reads.
I hate to repeat myself but I really want to drive this home; the next time you walk by a table of a sponsor check them out. You may find that they can actually help you out in more ways than you can imagine. Check out the Leadership Institute’s training here.
On Thursday, Arizona State University members of Young Americans for Liberty met to discuss the issue of guns on college campuses.
Students at Arizona State University are not allowed to carry firearms in university buildings, despite the fact that it is a public university and that a vast majority of students are adults.
The meeting began with some videos about the issue, followed by a discussion on the reasons and motivations behind gun restrictions, and what can be done to fight them.
The meeting culminated with the creation of ASU's newest pro-liberty club, Students for Concealed Carry! Our Sergeant at Arms and resident gun enthusiast, Edward Hughes, took on the task of leading the club.
To find out more about what's going on in the liberty world at ASU, check out our website, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter!
Tonight I was helped by the Platte Institute for Economic Research and the Leadership Institute. We tabled at Nebraska Wesleyan University and got over 25 names for potentially interested students!
We then held a meeting at a local coffee shop and discussed starting a chapter. We even had a faculty member stop by and say he was interested in helping the students start the chapter. National School Choice Week was also celebrated by our table, and many of the students asked questions about the yellow scarves. Overall, it was a very successful event.