We had a strong start to the fall semester at EMU with our free speech walls during Constitution Week!
Our main goal was to get our group exposed to campus for the new year in a fun way. We also used the event to recruit and raise awareness of the importance of knowing your right to free speech.
It turned out to be a beautiful, sunny week, and we decided to set up the walls of plywood against the trees, lamppost, and table on either side of the sidewalk so that the flow of traffic didn’t get too thrown off. We had books provided by a Leadership Institute representative and ended up giving them all away!
Tons of pocket Constitutions were also passed out, and it was fun to see people react with excitement. We also made sure to chalk up the sidewalk, and classmates were emailed about the event. We were able to have at least one or two members be at the table so we could stay out longer throughout the day. Students were excited to see us back each day and enjoyed reading the creative comments that others had made throughout the week.
A reporter from The Eastern Echo interviewed our chapter president, Aly Basley, about the event, and she was very excited for the opportunity to let students know of their rights; especially with events unfolding in Ferguson and harsh measures taken across campuses nationwide to restrict speech.
Overall, we collected 33 sign-ups and engaged in a lot of thoughtful conversations on civil liberties. At our meeting the night of the last day of our Constitution Week, we hosted five new students. We showed them an introductory video to YAL and told them about the upcoming Students for Liberty Michigan Conference that we will be hosting at our campus this October. Aly was very happy to see students who had only recently joined after being recruited at EMU’s student org Fajita Fest talk to the new members about what YAL is all about and how they helped out at the event.
Overall, the free speech walls turned out to be a fun, interactive event. It was a very rewarding experience to have people realize it is morally wrong to restrict the Natural Right to freedom of conscience and how it is possible as a society to tolerate other viewpoints.
We look forward to meeting students from across the U.S. at SFL’s Michigan Conference and exposing our new members to the ideas of freedom!
**If anyone has advice on how to get a majority of your sign-ups to come to your meeting, please comment on this post. Thanks!Published in