You know the saying fifteen minutes of fame? Well Young American for Liberty at Arkansas State University had our fifteen minutes of fame during Constitution Week after being shut down because we were giving out full size candy bars.
Now, normally we wouldn’t think much of this because the person who shut us down said, “It was against University policy to pass out any food.” However, looking back at past organizations (us included) no one has ever been shut down. We gave out the exact same type of candy during YAL’s first appearance at Arkansas State when we did The Price is Wrong event. Even stranger than that, the very next day other tables were giving out candy to people and they were not shut down. Needless to say that was not going to stay like that for long.
After talking to three different departments, we finally learned that no one had the same interpretation of the policy. One department said we could give out what we want as long as we weren’t selling it, another said only “mini candy” and the other said “No food at all!” Finally, after a few more meeting with administration we worked out a resolution and they are currently creating paperwork for organizations to fill out before being able to hand out anything doing events, so everyone is treated equally. Not the best solution, but one we can work with.
Enough about that, let’s focus on what happened in that span of time. Around noon on September 20, 2012, we set up a table in the middle of the Student Union just outside the cafeteria were hundreds of students passed by. The goal of the day was to have students and anyone else who walked by take the short Constitution Quiz. After completing the quiz, they could choose a piece of candy while we hand them a constitution with a flyer of our next meeting and explained why we celebrate Constitution Week.
Four of our members worked the table and were able to hand out half the Constitution and we almost ran out of quizzes. Most of the students taking the quiz got more than half of the questions right. (That could be because of the 18” X 36” Bill of Rights we had printed off and set up next to the table for them to look at if they were struggling!)
Even though we were shut down less than half way through our event, we were still able to get our message across to a lot of the students who passed by. The real reason for doing this event was to celebrate Constitution Week and remind our fellow students that it still exists!