YAL leaders from around the state convened on the campus of Appalachian State University Friday to give a jolt of energy back into the YAL chapter there. Though a YAL chapter has existed at App State in years past, it fell into disrepair after graduations and no clear path forward.
Though the chapter members at Appalachian State are very knowledgeable and very articulate about the message of liberty, the technology and techniques for building a successful and sustainable chapter (not to mention manpower necessary to achieve them) were lacking. And that’s where our statewide coalition came in.
Boone, North Carolina is known for its beautiful landscape and laid-back culture. The college town, however, is not particularly famous for embracing freedom (as evidenced by the signs spotted around town and on campus).
Our task force (Ross Bradley and Emma Benson of NC State University, Craig Dixon and Laura Peterson – alumni of Appalachian State Young Americans for Liberty, and Everett Lozzi – NC State Chair and student at UNC-Chapel Hill), made it to Boone at about 10 am to meet up with what will become the leadership of a strong Appalachian State University chapter.
A beautifully set-up table was erected by the time we got there – it had been running since 9 a.m. (tabling would continue until about 4 p.m.). This set-up would not have been possible without resources from YAL, SFL, and the Advocates for Self-government.
With so many troops on the ground, we decided to cover more ground by running an impromptu Obama=Bush campaign elsewhere on campus as a technique for finding sympathetic students and a backbone for this restructuring group.
Techniques learned from the Leadership Institute, particularly the “polling” of students to find liberty-lovers, were also employed. Through discussion with students on campus, we were able to identify students already passionate about limited-government. There were even instances where students polled as “libertarian,” but were not familiar with the political philosophy. We distributed books and flyers aplenty.
Thanks to effective tabling techniques, a knowledgeable group, and good organization, our team was able to identify and sign up 60 new members to our group listserv. For a chapter that numbered three to four, that’s pretty good work!
The day ended with dinner at the Dan’l Boone Inn, a staple of Boone, and a few hours of discussing strategy for the chapter. An interest meeting is in the works for Tuesday, and a much larger and stronger chapter will emerge out the other side. What a great day!