The campus of Brigham Young University, located in the small college town of Provo, is unlike anywhere else in the world. Not only is it the third-largest private university in the nation, it is also the largest religious university in the United States. Housing more than 34,000 students, 98% of whom are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, it is arguably one of the most conservative and “tame” universities that can be found.
Needless to say, the church finds itself in the world’s spotlight more than ever with Mormon Mitt Romney’s republican presidential bid. This makes for a very interesting political atmosphere at BYU — the very university where Mitt received his undergraduate degree. How goes the liberty movement on this politically-charged campus you ask? Look no further.
The YAL chapter at BYU is still very young — only a few months old. Having hit many obstacles and frustrations with a very overly-sensitive school administration, it was obvious that our efforts during this Fall Recruitment Drive would be essential to continue carrying on the banner of liberty at this school. BYU’s energized and motivated libertarians didn’t disappoint.
Constitution Day 2012 became Brigham Young YAL’s first operation. Nearly fifteen enthusiastic YAL members hit the streets of campus, passing out pocket-sized constitutions to all that would stop and listen to our short message on the importance of this great document. Each YAL-issued Constitution contained an invitation to our meeting the next night. That day nearly 450 copies were passed out to BYU students. Several new and interested students came to their first YAL meeting the next night.
But BYU’s YAL chapter was just getting started! The next week on September 24th, YAL members manned a booth of Operation Politically Homeless in the BYU student center for seven hours straight. We spoke to hundreds and hundreds of students, passing out and helping them participate in what is known as The World’s Smallest Political Quiz. Based on the scores of their answers, they placed a sticker on the political map. Our goal was not only inviting BYU students to our group meeting the next night, but also helping cure the rampant apathy that runs through our school. We put students in a position to actually think about what they believed in. The operation was hugely successful.
Our efforts at combating the BYU apathy didn’t go unnoticed. Shortly after Operation Politically Homeless, our office was contacted by both publications The Daily Universe and The Student Review. Both were interested in the growing libertarian movement at BYU as evidenced by our recent efforts. Both interested parties were directed to us. The Daily Universe, reaching an audience of nearly 35,000 people are to host a front-page article of our group on Tuesday, October 9th. The Student Review, reaching a similar audience, was able to ask edgier and broader questions — truly delving into what made the BYU libertarian machine tick. That article was published on Friday, October 12th.
Friends in liberty, this is just the beginning. A liberty movement has begun on the BYU campus, and many are taking notice. Thanks to Young Americans for Liberty, the message of the Constitution, economic freedom, and individual liberty is being heard more each day.