Constitution Week here in Oxford was a true success. Lodged right in between two major events here at Ole Miss — the Texas game and Attorney General Eric Holder’s speech at our campus — we were busy promoting economic liberty as seen through the Constitution.
Celebrating the Constitution started off a little early when we gave out dozens of pocket Constitutions to Texas fans in the Grove as they took on our Rebels on national TV.
Our goal this week was to focus on three key issues: free speech, the Fourth Amendment, and economic liberty. We honed in on these issues by focusing on the First Amendment, Fourth Amendment, and Tenth Amendment, respectively. However, our goal was to especially drive home the often overlooked Tenth Amendment and how this directly ties into our excessive debt and burdensome welfare state.
Throughout the week we gave students and faculty nearly 150 Pocket Constitutions courtesy of YAL National’s activism kit. Our chapter received 200 copies of After the Welfare State and 200 copies of The Morality of Capitalism from our buddies over at Student’s for Liberty. We managed to hand out over 100 copies of the former and 125 copies of the latter. We sure hope you picked up a copy of these for yourself because they seem to be going out rapidly!
We accomplished all this despite having bad weather hit us on Monday and Tuesday, limiting what we could do on campus. On Wednesday we were right back at it with our Free Speech Tent, handing our Constitutions and having people sign our Free Speech Board. The great part of the Free Speech day was that we celebrated Ole Miss being ranked by F.I.R.E. as one of, “The Seven Best Colleges for Free Speech.” To read more about it, see the article on the Huffington Post that covers our accomplishments here.
Our ranking was largely due to the efforts the founding members of Ole Miss YAL have made over the past few years to get our administration and state Institute of Higher Learning to recognize that constitutional rights aren’t exclusive to off campus activities. It was tough over the years but now our school’s administration celebrates this and warmly welcomed our Free Speech Tent right next to the Grove. It didn’t hurt at all that this came when Ole Miss celebrates 50 years of integration here in Oxford.
Not to be too proud, but after celebrating one victory we had to move on to another — raising awareness for economic liberty. Our copies of After the Welfare State and the Morality of Capitalism definitely helped us promote our cause. However, relating the vague constitutionality of the Welfare Clause with the violations of the Tenth Amendment and growing warfare and welfare state fortifies our message of the need for limited government and less spending.
After a long day of tabling on Thursday we had our weekly meeting but with a little bit of a bonus – over 60 people showing up to watch our screening of I.O.U.S.A. We not only had our active members and our friends we’ve made throughout the semester join us, but also people we met throughout the week, recent high school graduates and even members of the community here in Oxford. We’d like to thank everyone who showed up!
Having nearly 70 people from across campus and across the state come together and pay attention to the gravest threat our nation faces – the reckless spending and monstrous debt – that’s something our Founding Fathers would take great pride in. Having over three times the usual turn out for one of our meetings meant on thing – people from diverse backgrounds and a wide range of political affiliations were able to unite and open themselves up to learning the uncomfortable yet real issues facing our economy and freedom today.
We were right back at it the next morning with our visualize the debt clock, pictures of which can be seen right here on this blog.
Making such a difference across campus was incredible! By being consistent throughout the week and impacting everyone we met we’re sure we’ve made ripples that will make major impacts throughout our campus and community. The tangible accomplishments were astounding but the intangible results are what Ole Miss YAL is most proud of. Keep checking back for more updates of what we’ll do throughout the semester.