East Carolina’s Summary of Semester Events!


East Carolina University YAL has been quite active this semester engaging students with a number of activist events as well as having many events to build a community of liberty within the organization.

ECU YAL Meeting!  Several more are not shown in this pic, and more came in afterwards.  Liberty is becoming fairly popular on our campus!

The semester started with only four returning members (the officers) — all other members had graduated.  Early on we planned on taking advantage of tabling and recruitment days on campus.  Our recruitment day event was a resurrection of the classic Wake Forest “Stop Spending our Futures” water bottle giveaway.  This proved to be ultra-effective and despite having competition on our reserved table from the Republicans and the campus greens, we were able to recruit more potential members with our enthusiasm and creativity.  This event employed a huge 118 can capacity cooler filled with ice and relabeled (and laminated) bottles of water and a of course a hot summer day.  

Our next event was a voter education drive which we educated students that elections were occurring this year and that much was on the line.  Dr. Mike Beitler came out to this event and had a chance to engage students and faculty.

Dr. Mike Beitler and ECU YAL President Matthew Blackmon

This week would end with a Constitution Day activity in which we gave out scores of Constitutions we received in our Constitution kit.  We competed with the school’s feeble attempt to give out Constitutions and many students remarked that the complexly folded sheets of paper with 8 point font were not as desirable as our booklet style.  This event proved to be such a success that membership rose as dramatically after this event as it did after recruitment day.

As the month of September ended with many strategic meetings to build a community and the officers planned new events, we also were able to help engage liberty at the state level by cooperating with our State Chair in his initiatives.  We also received our Operation Politically Homeless kit, which we put to good use near every time during our normal tabling schedule.

Operation Politically Homeless Kit in Action!

Three of our four executive board members attended the Youth Leadership School that was available in our state.  We heard lectures from our own Jared Fuller (YAL Southeast Director) and Craig Dixon (our State Chair) This would later prove invaluable to our future state level cooperative efforts.  

One of the future state level cooperative initiatives was a Ron Paul petition drive where students at NC STATE UNIVERSITY were petitioned for signatures to bring Ron Paul to campus.  ECU came during the NCSU v. VT game and we petitioned many students.  Collectively we gained 1300 signatures as a whole in one day!  

ECU YAL President Matthew Blackmon enticing Signatures from NCSU Tailgate

Check out the others who worked so valiantly that hot day!

Here Jesse Mignogna, our Founding "Father" and Rachel Pickens, ECU YAL Treasurer score more signatures!

Here's Chris Gault Sporting a brand new Don't Tread on Me Flag/Cape

Engaging the tailgate Matt and Chris

We even got people in the Streets!

Our next event was a nature trip to enjoy the environment and talk about property rights and their importance in the struggle with those who would put environmentalism over property rights.   We went canoeing! 

Canoing in Beautiful Greenville!

By the River, featured Cindy Strickland, club secretary, and James Crouch

John Holden and Cindy Strickland

On the river!

John Holden and Matthew Blackmon!

Our group also had a Halloween social following our outdoors activities that featured guest stars Obama, the Refreshenator, V for Vendetta/Zorro, and a Border Patrol Guard!  The group had tons of fun becoming the figures we talk about so much in our meetings.  This event proved the all too familiar saying of “People say satire is dead. It’s not dead; it’s alive and living in the White House.” — Robin Williams

Here’s a pic!

V, Border Patrol, Refreshernator, and Obama

On November 4th we showed our support for individual rights at a GLBTSU Vigil held in honor of the students who had committed suicide as a result of aggression and coercion by peers in high school and colleges around the country.  The school newspaper and Channel 9 News were there for the event and both remarked about the signs we had (though failed to give us our due credit).

The East Carolinian wrote “Some people came with signs that read ‘Gay rights are individual rights,’ ‘Liberty and justice for all’ and ‘Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.'”

Channel 9 News caught some of our posters, but we were unable to get recognition for our posters on the actual video.

The following week we had several events.  We helped co-sponsor a speaker with the ECU GLBTSU, and My Voice.  The speaker, Gaye Adegbalola, spoke about gay rights and civil rights to students and shared some of her music as well as stories growing up during the 60s when civil rights were a constant topic and comparing and contrasting the differences with the gay rights movement.  

The next day, we set up a table with a huge wall that students could personalize with whatever they wanted to say.  We had posters educating students about the 10 planks of communism, as well as a few other posters with witty sayings such as Ronald Reagan’s famous quote “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

Wall Setup

Celebrate your Freedom Featuring ECU YAL President Matt Blackmon

Students Writing on the Wall

Rachel Posing!

Wall at the end of the day!

We followed up that weekend with a Gun Range Event, where we partnered with Students for Conceal Carry on Campus, a Second Amendment organization.  We went to shoot (or in my case learn to shoot) and learn about gun safety.  The event was a lot of fun!

Matt Patiently finds his target!


Cindy Strickland Sporting some safety gear!

Our Arsenal!

After the Berlin Wall event and our gun range event, we began our  early Relay for Life fundraising events to end the semester.   We held an election and our member Marcus Bland was selected to become our Team Captain, with Storm Henry as his co-Captain.  Our first event was a bake sale where our baked goods earned us $80 dollars in one day.  Many thanks goes to our Treasurer Rachel Pickens for providing the epic Cake Pops, Cookies, and Brownies for this event.  Notably, we had great contributions to this event from our friends in liberty Karissa Lerch and Brad Teague, who spearheaded the cooking and preparation.

Big Action, featuring Brad Teague (back left) John Holden (front left), Rachel Pickens (middle) Storm Henry (middle back), Matthew Blackmon (middle, right), Savanna Black (mid-bottom, right), and Cindy Strickland (bottom, Right)

It takes two libertarians to work a consumer appliance

Storm Henry Pondering the Mysteries of the Industrial Revolution, the division of labor, or just sleeping, you take your pick!

Brad Teague is horrified at how much clean up is required!

Libertarian Alchemy at its finest!  We are going to turn this food into gold....actually scratch that, government already seized that....

Our second event was a donation-based event where those who donated received our Tyranny is a Cancer/FTP stickers (Fight the Power) created by our Outreach Coordinator David Price.  These were so popular that even a cop got one!  We finished that day passing out flyers warning students about the dangers of the TSA (YAL’s pedobear flyers were a stunning success on our campus).

More photos are available on our facebook fansite here.

That pretty sums up everything we’ve done so far for the liberty movement this semester.  Our final event will be our Liberty Social, designed to bring together our community before the winter break!

If you have questions feel free to email us at ecuyal@gmail.com or mblackmon@yalsouth.org!

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