Constitution Week in B-Town

September has been an absolutely jam-packed month for liberty at Indiana University. YA L@ IU celebrated Constitution Week from September 17-19 by celebrating the First and Fourth Amendments. We had a free speech wall, and we wrote question relating to each topic on the boards as a way to invite students to share their opinions.

The week before, members got together to hang out and create posters about the two topics. Members who wanted to table, but were not yet comfortable with approaching people, held signs or handed out pocket Constitutions.

Constitution Week Preparation

Wednesday of Constitution Week, we passed out flyers and talked to students about a seemingly-imminent war with Syria. However, our main focus during the rest of the week was on the Fourth Amendment. We asked students to answer our questions “Do we have a right to privacy?” and “What is your opinion on the NSA?” Some students jokingly asked if the NSA was monitoring what people wrote, or that they said that they had an opinion but it’s private.

Students Writing on Free Speech Wall

Before they wrote on the wall, we asked them to fill out a short questionnaire: your name, Facebook password, “What color underwear are you wearing?”, “Can we search your car?”, “List your internet history,” and finally “Do you love your government? Yes or yes?” When students asked about the obviously satirical questions, we would insist that they were imperative for determining who was and wasn’t a threat to national security. Many students thought this was hilarious, and some even said “Wow, I’ve got to show this to my friends!”

We finished our talk about the Fourth Amendment a week later on September 24 by hosting journalist and Indiana University alumnus Radley Balko. He spoke to a a crowd of over 50 students about the militarization of the police and their infringements on civil liberties. It was extremely informative, albeit terrifying, to hear about the abuses of government power on everyday citizens.

Radley Balko

We worked so hard these past few weeks and we reached so many students! We are so excited for the upcoming Students for Liberty Conferences and future activism. YAL @ IU is ready to get students excited about liberty!

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