Visualize the Debt is a really fun event and this time was our second year doing it. The fun starts when you go to Home Depot to buy all the materials, and it continues as you spend time with your friends making the sign. The most fun is during the actual event, because you get the opportunity to raise awareness to your fellow students and engage in various discussions.
I already know that us YALers are pretty aware about the dangers of our exploding national debt so I’m not going to take this blog in that direction. Instead, I want to share with you guys a couple of ideas to make this event easy and effective.
First, I would like to share with you guys our method of making the giant sign. I have seen many other pictures from other chapter’s signs, and while they look good and get the point across, there is an easier way to do it. I would definitely avoid ply wood. It is heavy and you have to waste a lot of time painting it white before you even paint the numbers on it.
We found 8 foot long panels of insulation at Home Depot that are super bright white already. They weigh almost nothing making transportation much easier. With 6 panels making the sign 48 feet long, we only had to buy one very small can of glossy black paint. Using a paint roller that is like 4 inches wide, you just draw the numbers right on the panel. The bright white panels with glossy black paint really pops. On the day of the event, you just lean the panels against some tables and the sign looks seamless. The total cost is about 80 dollars, but that is what the activism grants are for!
Second, get somebody to film the event. Our chapter is friends with Tom, the Orange County Libertarian Party Chair, and he really likes to come check out our events and document them. Last year he filmed us and our sign when it was at 14 trillion and this year he came to film us again when our sign was at 15 trillion. He made this cool video that shows how much the debt increased in one short year.
Lastly, make sure you take lots of photos with you and your friends. This event is a great way to raise awareness about the debt because having a large sign makes it impossible for people to ignore. But don’t forget to have fun. Doing these activities builds up relationships within your chapter. Our core group at Cal State Fullerton are all really close friends and when outsiders see that kind of bond, it attracts them to our club.