2010 Fall Semester Activity Report
Young Americans for Liberty
2010 Fall Semester Activity Report
Two years ago, YAL officially launched with Congressman Ron Paul's endorsement, a new website, a new logo, an email to the Ron Paul 2008 list, and our first online donation. The continuation of Students for Ron Paul had begun!
The current YAL National staff (minus Dave Hoyt) celebrating two years!
Now, after two years and a wildly successful fall semester and campaign season, I'd like to say thank you to all who have made this possible. Thank you to all the YAL staff, past and present. Thank you to the many activists who make up Young Americans for Liberty. And THANK YOU to the generous donors who faithfully support each new project and initiative. Y'all make it all happen. You are the reason we are educating and mobilizing an entire generation.
Below is a full report of YAL's activities this fall. Please take a minute to read through it and see what your participation and support has made possible. If you didn't get a chance to review the Spring Semester Report we released in June, you can take a look at that here.
Table of Contents
In the fall of 2010, Young Americans for Liberty continued to experience phenomenal growth. In fact, the YAL network now boasts 2,619 dues-paying members and 178 active and forming chapters in 39 states!
YAL chapters across the country got the Fall semester off to a strong start with a wide variety of recruitment events to attract new students to the ideals of liberty. The first few weeks of classes are a key time for campus groups to find new members, as incoming students research the extracurriculars available at their school.
Dozens of YAL chapters planned creative recruitment week events on their campuses this year.
Here is a selection of recruitment week reports from some of YAL's most active chapters:
- The new chapter at the University of Cincinatti distributed hundreds of pocket Constitutions to fellow students as they recruited new members in the student activities fair.
- At the University of Washington, the chapter was given a table next to the socialists, WashPIRG, and the Young Democrats. This veteran YAL chapter successfully promoted their first meeting of the semester.
- At the University of North Texas, the YAL chapter signed up more than 80 people in their first recruitment effort of the semester and made this fast-paced video:
- Auburn University YAL had a busy recruitment week in September. Their "Liberty Blitz" included custom-labeled YAL water bottles for students feeling the Alabama heat, a 44' long national debt display, street art, and more!
- YAL at Clayton State used Operation Politically Homeless to identify liberty-minded students and recruit them to the chapter.
- Duquesne University's YAL chapter recruited using the World's Smallest Political Quiz. They reached out the the Young Democrats and College Republicans and collected a number of petition signatures to bring Ron Paul to speak on their campus.
- YAL members at Indiana University-Bloomington used the IU Student Involvement Fair to promote the speeches from Ron Paul and Dr. Tom Woods later in the semester. Many of their fellow students were thrilled to learn that these champions of liberty were coming to Indiana!
- The University of South Florida YAL chapter signed up more than 40 interested students, talking with them about public education, states' rights, and the Constitution.
- In Minnesota, YAL at St. Cloud State had a secret weapon for tabling success: free chocolate.
- YAL at Central Florida found Operation Politically Homeless to be an extremely helpful recruiting tool:
- At the University of Georgia, YAL members found that their community is increasingly receptive to the philosophy of liberty.
- The rookie YAL chapter at DePauw University tabled for the first time during recruitment week, collecting a number of signatures from interested students and having a lot of fun!
On September 17, 2010, more than 40 Young Americans for Liberty chapters took action to celebrate the principles established in our founding document -- the United State Constitution.
The creativity of these young activists was impressive. From 17-foot long Constitutions, to constitutional gorillas, to speakers and education, Constitution Day 2010 was a success. The YAL national staff compiled all the good activism stories from that day into on report, available here.
Take a look at the complete report on Constitution Day 2010 for more pictures from this great activism project!
YAL chapters were encouraged to compete for top prizes and claim bragging rights for the next year. Chapters were judged on creativity, recruitment numbers, earned media, and quality of pictures and video.
And the winners were...
- First Place: University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Second Place: University of Texas-San Antonio
- Third Place: Washington State University
Honorable Mention: Indiana University-Bloomington
Congratulations to these hard-working chapters! Here are the prizes theyreceived:
First Prize: A liberty-themed HD flipcam -- $200 value
Second prize: A large, vinyl YAL banner -- $50 value
Third Prize: Five copies of Tom Woods' bestseller, Nullification -- $50 value
Please take a moment to scroll through all the YAL chapters' activism reports, located at our complete report of Constitution Day 2010. Here is a table of contents of the individual reports:
- Baruch College
- Saint Cloud State University
- University of Georgia
- University of South Florida
- Indiana University-Bloomington
- Washington State University
- Duquesne University
- Somerset Area Senior High
- Clayton State University
- East Carolina University
- Vanderbilt University
- Whatcom Community College
- University of Texas-San Antonio
- University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Utah State University
- University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign
- Case Western Reserve University
- Michigan State University
- University of Kansas
YAL and its supporters won MAJOR battles on Election Day this year.
November 2, 2010, was the largest single-day advancement for the liberty movement since the day the TEA Party started on December 16, 2007, with a $6 million money bomb!
Here are reports from each of the states in what grew to be YAL's Six-State Plan (with the late-stage addition of Iowa), our ambitious project for campaign season:
YAL recruited 37 liberty activists to travel to New Durham, NH, on Thursday, October 14. These attendees underwent a full day of campaign training on Friday, and then volunteered for the local candidates of their choice over the weekend.
Newly-trained YAL activists knocked on doors, made phone calls, assembled mailers, and informed voters about our issues. They made all the difference in several close races in New Hampshire, and laid the groundwork for future progress in 2012.
One week after the bootcamp in New Hampshire, YAL hosted another three-day bootcamp in Grand Rapids, MI. A total of 31 young activists attended this event. YAL members arrived on Thursday, October 21, trained on Friday, and volunteered for local candidates throughout the weekend.
Many students chose to volunteer for Justin Amash, now a newly-elected, 30-year old congressman. I recommend you keep an eye on him. He is a well-studied Austrian economist, a strict Constitutionalist, and will likely join Congressman Ron Paul on the same subcommittee that oversees the Federal Reserve. In short, he's a rising star for our cause in Congress.
There will soon be TWO Austrian economists on the same subcommittee that directly oversees our central bank! This is historic!
Low in supply and high in demand, trained field staff were crucial at the height of election season in Nevada. YAL hired a number of full-time staffers for this an other states, totally 36 in all.
As in Nevada, a portion of YAL's 36 temporary, full-time field staff worked in North Carolina to network with young activists, educate voters on the issues, and organize volunteers to get out the vote on Election Day.
During the last week before Election Day, YAL hosted a seven-day training and campaign event in Kentucky. Based on our previous successes during the KY primaries, A total of 43 YAL members came to this critical programand canvassed the state to make sure voters showed up at the polls for Freedom on Election Day.
In Iowa, Like Nevada and North Carolina, YAL deployed experienced field staff to train local activists with the basic skills to effectively organize for freedom. The central event focus of YAL's presence in the state was a visit from Ron Paul, hosted by YAL and Campaign for Liberty.
Here's the bigger numerical picture of YAL's incredibly successful year of campaign training and civic activism -- all of which was made possible by your faithful support:
- 103 young activists for Spring Break in Kentucky (March).
- 51 young activists returned to Kentucky before the primary to GOTV (May).
- 42 young activists for YAL Bootcamp in North Carolina (June).
- 37 young activists for YAL Bootcamp in New Hampshire (October).
- 31 young activists for YAL Bootcamp in Michigan (October).
- 43 young activists for GOTV for Freedom in Kentucky (October).
- 36 full-time, trained staff to work on campaigns as field staff or campaign manager.
- Largest training: Spring Break in Kentucky (March), with 103 students
- Smallest training: YAL Bootcamp in Michigan (October), with 31 students
- Total number of training students: 343
Please take a look at YAL's full report on its election-season activism. The 2010 election cycle was a key time for the advancement of liberty, and we made real progress!
“Historic” does not even begin to explain what just happened. It was the first step in an entire change of direction for our country, but only if you and I remain committed to our principles and engaged in the political process.
Do not back down! And do not check out!
You and I have much work ahead. The Establishment wants us to go away. Please do not give them their wish.
Thank you for supporting Young Americans for Liberty, the Ron Paul R3volution, and the TEA Party. There is no way we would have made it this far without your contributions and participation.
For an increasing number of YAL chapters, the highlight of the semester is a campus visit from Ron Paul, Dr. Tom Woods, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, or another champion of liberty. These visits require chapters commit a lot of blood, sweat, and tears -- not to mention valuable studying time -- to the planning and preparation required to make the speech a success.
Perhaps the best example of this comes from the rockstar YAL chapter at Indiana University-Bloomington, which hosted Ron Paul and Tom Woods this fall at two separate, successful events. The event with Dr. Woods in particular was a huge victory for liberty. Let me give you a brief bit of history in case you haven't already heard this amazing story.
As you may know that Dr. Woods is a graduate of Harvard and Columbia, author of multiple New York Times bestsellers, and a Senior Scholar at the Mises Institute. He probably has more ivy league degrees and bestselling books than the entire IU economics department combined. But, when the IU YAL chapter requested Dr. Woods to speak on campus, they were told "Dr. Woods lacks sufficient academic credibility" to speak to undergraduate students.
For this lame reason, the economics department and Indiana Memorial Union Board Lectures Committee of Indiana University rejected Dr. Woods last fall.
YAL Chapter President, Sam Spaiser, and the chapter members were shocked to receive such a flimsy excuse -- especially when the administration already accepted and paid for a request to bring a disgraced former presidential candidate, John Edwards, to campus.
The blatant political and philosophical bias was disgraceful. But it does not surprise me. These ivory towers in universities are bastions for statist thought.
Even though this was Dr. Woods' first time to be rejected on academic grounds, he took it in stride. "If my academic credentials are in question, anyone can judge for themselves at TomWoods.com. But from their point of view I'm surely uncredentialed: unlike other speakers they might consider, I haven't wrecked any economies," he said.
Fortunately, Sam and his YAL chapter didn't take this lying down.
Despite getting a second rejection from the university, this time because they did too much work organizing the event without the board's approval, they pushed forward. Sam and his chapter began raising money on their own, receiving help from YAL supporters and friends in the community.
Finally, their hard work paid off, despite the countless hurdles put before them by the IU economics department and statist administrators, and the event was a wild success, with more than 250 people in attendance!
Dr. Woods also published a great article in the student newspaper, explaining the basics of the points he made in his talk:
Dr. Woods was very well-received when he finally made it to IU-Bloomington after much opposition from the university.
Later in the semester, YAL at IU-Bloomington hosted the largest on-campus speech with Dr. Paul EVER -- a grand total of 1,888 people were in the audience! Here's a complete video of the speech, in which Dr. Paul makes "The Case for Liberty":
Dr. Paul spoke to his largest college crowd ever at IU-Bloomington this fall!
To say that this well-publicized event (check out the awesome door-hangers the chapter made to get the word out in the dorms!) got a lot of attention from the media is an understatement! Check out a few of the reports here, here, here, and here. Here's the video the chapter made to announce their event:
In addition to these two presentations in Indiana, Dr. Paul and other liberty speakers spoke at a number of successful YAL events this fall, including:
- Ron Paul returned to a key primary state to speak at the University of Iowa just days before the election.
- Dr. Paul also spoke at Arizona State University about a month later, on November 19, in conjunction with a Campaign for Liberty conference in the area.
- Meanwhile several other chapters are quickly racking up petition signatures to bring the congressman to their own schools, so perhaps we'll soon see Ron Paul speaking at North Carolina State University or Auburn University, for instance.
- Tom Woods also spoke at Boise State University in November, covering the topic of states' rights and nullification, and at Colorado State University, focusing on more economic subjects.
- Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson made the rounds of college campuses this fall and was hosted by a number of YAL chapters. His tour included UT-San Antonio, the University of North Texas, and Fordham University.
- Anti-war writer and journalist Glenn Greenwald visited the YAL chapter at UW-Madison.
- Classically liberal professor Dr. Justin Ross spoke on many subjects relating to libertarianism at Indiana University-Bloomington.
- Dr. Andrew Bernstein, a visiting professor at Marist College, spoke on the moral efficacy of capitalism to the YAL chapter at Central Washington University.
- Indiana University-Bloomington YAL hosted Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation of Individual Rights in Education. You can view a video of his presentation here.
As anti-TSA sentiment swelled across the nation in response to the agency's increasingly invasive and unconstitutional screening techniques, YAL sprung into action. With many students about to leave college for Thanksgiving break -- and perhaps fly home for the holiday -- the YAL national staff compiled an activism guide for students to protest the TSA, both on and off campus.
The YAL chapter at Vanderbilt University, however, already had the right idea, tabling on their campus to raise awareness about the TSA's concerning (and 100% ineffective) practices. After the activism guide was posted, other chapters began to stage their own protests. At UC-San Diego, for instance, the YAL chapter covered their campus with anti-TSA flyers and chalk messages. The Indiana University chapter created a video appealing to fellow citizens to stand up to the TSA's abusive practices. Meanwhile, the Auburn University chapter created a clever display which enticed passing students to take information about the TSA.
YAL chapters siezed the moment to protest the TSA in a number of creative ways, taking advantage of the activism guide YAL staff created.
Included in YAL's activism guide were several flyer templates, pictured above, which chapters could download and customize with their own contact information. When the YAL chapter at the University of Virginia downloaded the middle template to post around campus for their protest, they snapped a picture of one of their flyers and put it on Reddit. The image made it to the front page of this high-traffic website, garnering more than 400,000 views and over 400 comments! From there, it was picked up by the Huffington Post and was subsequently posted on several other sites. Congratulations again to the UVA chapter for this incredible viral success!
Here's the picture the chapter posted on Reddit:
The YAL chapters who took action before Thanksgiving break were in good company in their opposition to the TSA. Here, Ron Paul speaks on the House floor to introduce his brave legislation against the TSA's gross abuse of the Fourth Amendment -- and our liberty and privacy:
Please take a minute to listen to this rousing defense of liberty and share it with all your friends and family, especially those who fly regularly. We must not stop protesting the TSA until it stops its unconstitutional, invasive policies!
One of the best things about grassroots activism is the originality and creativity YAL chapters constantly display as they plan their schedule for the semester. Here's a selection of some of the best independent activism events YAL chapters across the country organized this fall.
National, independent activism from YAL chapters this year was better than ever. I was blown away by the originality YAL members display in their fight for freedom!
- The Indiana University-Bloomington chapter joined the Indianapolis Nullification Rally. Chapter president Sam Spaiser was able to speak at the event to announce Ron Paul's forthcoming visit to the IU Campus. Here's a video from the day:
The chapter also kept busy all summer building good relationships in the local community by tabling at a nearby famers market.
- YAL at Western State Universirty College of Law joined a debate sponsored by the Federalist Society on the unconstitutional drug war. Check out their three-part video of the debate here.
- In Vegas, YAL members from the University of Nevada crashed a rally for President Obama, handing our flyers and discussing the philosophy of freedom with the event attendees:
Earlier in the semester, they'd raised awareness on campus with a "No More Che Day" of activism.
- YAL at the University of Washington participated in a campus debate with the College Republicans and Young Democrats on the Bush tax cuts. Watch the video of the event here. The UWash chapter also joined a forum on NAFTA.
- The YAL chapter at Auburn University took advantage of their close proximity to the Ludwig von Mises Institute to attend the the Mises Institute's Supporters Summit in October. They were joined there by YALers from Clayton State University, Florida State University, and Mississippi State University, and met a number of well-known figures in the liberty movement. Earlier in the semester, the Auburn chapter had a pleasant meeting with the Institute's Lew Rockwell, who graciously wrote of them on his blog:
This afternoon I met with the impressive leaders of the large Auburn University YAL chapter. They want Ron Paul to speak on campus, and I must say I like their style. When the the fascist Rudy Giuliani spoke here, receiving $88,000 plus expenses, they wanted to show their opposition, but in a polite, non-disruptive Southern way. So eight of them arranged to get the center seats of the first row, right in front of the podium. After Rudy started speaking, they quietly opened their shirts, revealing eight special t-shirts that spelled out B-L-O-W-B-A-C-K. Guiliani paused and goggled at them, then finished his canned speech. It was a great moment in libertarian passive resistance.
- St. Cloud State University YAL tabled on campus to inform fellow students of the human and economic costs of our unconstitutional (and now extremely lengthy) wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- At The Ohio State University, a cleverly-named Live Free or Fry BBQ attracted a number of students interested in free food and conversations about liberty.
- On many campuses, YAL members have submitted thoughtful articles to their student newspapers. Here are a few examples: Illinois State, Colorado State, Clayton State, and University of Wisconsin.
- Screenings of the film 'V for Vendetta' proved to be popular at both the University of Idaho and UC-San Diego.
- In Indiana, the first YAL state conference was organized at the local level in cooperation with the area's Campaign for Liberty group. Click here for pictures and a report of the event at Purdue University.
- YAL at the University of Georgia politely questioned their senator when he visited campus, catching him on tape defending the indefensible Federal Reserve!
- Montana State University hosted a screening of "Obama's War," a film about the Obama Administration's ongoing involvement in Afghanistan.
For a detailed report of the semester's events at several schools, check out their semester summaries:
- Auburn University
- Mississippi State University
- East Carolina State University
- Middle Tennessee State University
- Vanderbilt University
- Liberty University
- University of California-San Diego
- Virginia Commonwealth University
THANK YOU to all the YAL chapters who worked hard to plan and execute independent activism on and off campus this semester! I truly believe that YAL plays a key role in the future of freedom in America, and it is your dedication which makes that possible.
This is the fruit of your support! Literally thousands of young Americans are following our rallying cry to restore the U.S. Constitution, and it is your contributions that enable YAL to commit our lives to this cause.
Every semester for the past two years, Young Americans for Liberty has grown substantially and surpassed all exceptions. This Fall 2010 semester was no exception.
Our network has expanded tremendously, with more than 170 active and forming chapters. Our election season programs produced hundreds of newly-trained activists and mobilized volunteers into six key states. And our Leadership Team, the regional network we're developing to better coordinate our efforts, has increased across the country.
I expect this coming year to bring even more success. Right now, my staff and I are busy planning for CPAC this coming February, as well as developing a major new campaign project for 2011 and 2012. An announcement with all the details will be made in the coming weeks. But let me tell you, it is our most ambitious project to date. It will build on this past semester's successes and take our fight for limited government to a whole new level. I cannot wait to get started!
Thank you again for helping Young Americans for Liberty make a significant difference in so many young peoples' lives this past semester. Your contributions touch the lives of thousands. I really cannot say thank you enough. Our work has only begun! Let's make 2011 an even bigger year for freedom.
Executive Director, YAL
P.S. -- Don't forget to review YAL's report from Spring 2010 if you haven't already!