American University at Pittsburgh Spring Summit!

On April 1st, American University’s YAL chapter ventured all the way to Pennsylvania for the YAL Pittsburgh Spring Summit, where we had the exciting opportunity to learn new ways to advocate for liberty and to meet Ron Paul! Our chapter the night before, allied with the chapters from nearby schools including; George Washington University, Catholic University, and Howard University; arranged a mass carpooling, which included 14 American University liberty advocates to the event. Despite the distance and rain, we all made it to the hotel tired but eager for the day to come.

The event started with a rousing speech from YAL President Cliff Maloney Jr. talking about the virtues of being persuasive as well as being right. This was a major emphasis throughout the event: the importance of communicating the message of freedom as well as understanding the concept. We also heard from YAL Executive Vice President Ty Hicks, learning about the avenues in which we as students can connect with others and sell them on the idea of freedom, which is a concept many students may never have had a grasp of before!

As a group, the American University chapter attended three breakout sessions with the Leadership Institute. During that time, we learned about how to stay alert and report on authoritarian abuses on campus. We also reviewed various student interviews on news programs and reviewed the do’s and do nots of on-camera interviews, and we lastly went over the ways to improve our resumés in order to advance our careers.

During out time in Pittsburgh, our chapter had the opportunity to listen to several well-informed speakers, including Trevor Burrus, Lou Perez, and Cato Executive VP David Boaz. Each of the speakers provided a unique perspective in understanding liberty, whether through issues such as drug policy, comedy, or through understanding the opposing philosophies against liberty. The latter topic regarding authoritarian philosophies by the end was so engaging for the audience, the speaker David Boaz received a standing ovation!

Finally, at the end of the evening, the crowd cheered in excitement when they heard Ron Paul was arriving! Annamarie Rienzi, the YAL DC State Chair and active American University YAL member had the honor of introducing the keynote speaker! Once Dr. Ron Paul was on stage, the crowd was in thunderous applause, with “Ron Paul 2008” and “2012” banners paraded near the front row. It took some minutes before the crowd was quiet enough for the speech to begin. His discussion points ranged from the role of state sovereignty in the United States to how the liberty movement will likely progress in the future. His hope and optimism for the future of the liberty movement was contagious as the audience cheered in elation knowing they got to actually meet the man who jumpstarted the modern libertarian movement!

Once the speech was over and the crowd was finished with their standing ovation. The audience lined up for individual photos with Ron Paul. The American University YAL members were each able to get a personalized photo with the man himself. When every member had their picture taken, the chapter leadership reminded the other members to attend our next event on the 18th for an opportunity to hear more from the popular Cato speaker, David Boaz!

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