At MTSU, we kept meeting over the summer each week to maintain a sense of community and to plan for the upcoming fall semester.
As the summer came to a close, just before school started, the MTSU Anime Club put together a small anime convention on campus called ADACON. Now, it's an MTSU YAL tradition to attend the annual anime convention in Nashville dressed in the YAL BOT costume, and so a convention on home turf ought to be no different! So I and Galadriel Robinson attended the free convention passing out copies of the Morality of Capitalism, YAL palm cards, and Bastiat's The Law. I wore a libertarian YAL Van Helsing type get up, and Galadriel, as always, sported the YAL BOT suit.
It was a really fun time, and is a fun, casual, and non-confrontational way to promote YAL and liberty. Click here to view the pictures inexplicably uploaded in reverse order.
YAL MTSU's recruitment drive started with the We Haul Move-In Days. Kristen Breaux and I helped move in new students to their dorms wearing YAL shirts, Friday the 26th of August and Saturday the 27th.
Things really kicked off at the anual student organization fair, September 9th. We had been planning and prepping all summer, so we were ready!
We picked out a table and instead of hiding underneath the tent, behind the table, cowering in chairs, we pulled our table out in front of the tent. I propped up a super-size Operation Politically Homeless Quiz that we made out of one of the boards from the debt clock:
It was a big visual draw and lots of people walked over from the circus tents to see what was on the big board. We had six different members working the table throughout the day, though only Alex Mosely is shown here. We garnered 50+ sign-ups that day.
We of course had YAL BOT rocking out as an additional visual draw. The costume sports Tyler Parrow well.
The student organizations fair had been moved due to rain to the same day as the YAL informational meeting, so we only really had time to text and email all the new sign-ups. We had a very good turnout at the meeting, showing the Philosophy of Liberty slide show, answering some questions, and afterwards going out to discuss philosophy over a couple of drinks.
We tabled during the next week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, garnering 16 sign-ups each day. Some of us attending YAL Vanderbilt's lecture and debate watching party that Wednesday evening and were interviewed by the local news outlet. Tyler Parrow and I were both mistaken for Vanderbilt students!
That Friday the 16th, we joined our university's Constitution Day celebration. Our box of PoCons had just arrived that morning so the timing was perfect. We set up our table with a spread of Constitutions, YARs, and 3 books from our library on display: The Making of America, The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution, The Constitution and Economic Liberty. We also had the Constitution Quiz for students to take.
We made a splash promoting the message of a Constitution that actually means what it says. American Democracy Project, while sometimes statist-leaning, tried to focus more of civic engagement and awareness of the Constitution. Students read aloud the document, could register to vote, sign a huge Constitution, and received National Constitution Center PoCons from ADP. It was kind of cool that we could tack onto an already impressive Constitution Day display. We got a great many sign ups that day as a result!
We took the week of the 19th -23rd off from tabling to promote and finalize our hosting of Micheal Badnarik's famous Constition Class. We promoted the event with this nice flier made by Media Director and former VP, Trey Ray.
Badnarik flew in Friday night and we had dinner with him at a local restaurant, Demos'. Saturday the 24th was the big day, and various activists and organizations across Tennessee had been spreading the word about the class and 40 people showed up to the event.
More than a few of the attendees were adults with established careers and post-college lives, so we were able to garner $113 dollars in donations after the event. I put together a short excerpt video from the class; view it here. We all had dinner and drinks with Badnarik again at The Boulevard next to campus, before he left Sunday morning for a voyage at sea. After the event one attendee, ChrisInMaryville, blogged about the experince on the 10th Amendment Center blog.
But YAL at MTSU wasn't done recruiting yet! The next week we tabled Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Tyler Parrow even read the Delclaration of Independence aloud for passersby to hear! Thanks to Kristen Breaux for getting the video.
We drew in lots of new recruits and expanded our email and caller lists, but more important is how the members received our activites this month. From our Facebook wall:
"What a week! I lost count of how many conversations I had with others about Liberty and its application to a broad range of topics this week. Is it just me did September bring some significant gains to our friendly little group?" ~ Alex Mosley
"September has been an epic month! I hope it spills over into October!"
~ Kristen Breaux
" I don't know what's more exciting: how relevant the concepts of liberty and self-ownership are becoming in this status quo, or all the great ideas we have to spread those ideals. The time is now." ~ Tyler Parrow
Pictured right: Eric Sharp, Adam Cicco, Kristen Breaux, Tyler Parrow, Steven Neusse, Nate West, and Shane Burks. Other members not featured, including Josh Fields, helped table as well.