It has been a fantastic fall semester for the YAL @ El Camino College chapter. From creating a free speech wall where students wrote what they thought of Edward Snowden, to holding a “deluxe hug” fundraiser where students had the choice of getting a quick free hug or a “deluxe hug” with a donation of a dollar or more — this semester was one for the books!
There was a marked improvement in all sectors of our chapter. Well-known people such as John Woods, who is running for Congress in the 43rd district, came and spoke to our club and drew good crowds. We incorporated PowerPoints in all meetings to give the club attendees images and videos of everything that was on the agenda. Our tabling events became more creative, drawing more attention. There was also a rise in the number of hardworking and dedicated officers, with different students stepping up to take every single available position. This all led to a huge jump in attendees to the club meetings, with an average of twenty students per weekly meeting!
What made the YAL chapter at El Camino College stand out so much was our tabling events.
The first tabling event of the semester was during Club Rush Week. We gave out political quizzes to test where the students stood on the political spectrum, current events that were going on around the time were discussed, the Constitution, freedom and peace were focused on and people really liked what we were doing.
Our second event was a free speech wall where people could write anything they wanted, but we emphasized opinions of Edward Snowden. People liked being able to write whatever they wanted and that we cared what they had to say about the issue. The large wall was in and of itself a huge attention-getter too.
The third event was the screening of the video 10 Rules for Dealing with Police by Flex Your Rights. We passed out pamphlets with 10 tips for dealing with police to promote the screening of the video. The video was both informative and entertaining, a very good combination.
The fourth event was the best and most creative! It was decided that we would table on one of the last weeks of school to raise money for a local charity that fed the poor. The first three days there was nothing eye catching. Members of the club were just asking students for donations. People who donated received a candy cane.
Then some of the senior members of the club came up with a remarkable idea. We would offer a quick hug with a pat on the back for a donation of less than a dollar, including a donation of zero dollars. We would also then offer a deluxe hug that was longer and that turned into a swaying hug dance with the donation of a dollar or more.
This got a ton of students to join in and help us fundraise, by themselves offering hugs for the charity. The students loved it and it resulted in over thirty new signups and one hundred twenty dollars raised that day alone! Students really wanted to join our chapter as a result of that event.
We then concluded the semester by volunteering to help feed people and families going through tough times at a local Loaves and Fishes dinner and by donating all the money raised to that same charity.
A lot was learned, our chapter grew closer together, we members themselves grew, new faces joined, some old faces left — and at the end of the day liberty was the greatest beneficiary. All of these improvements and events got more students to get engaged and come to our meetings, and we used that time to educate. This past semester was truely a successful one for liberty but we will not and cannot stop here. There is still a lot to learn and a lot to do. Our decisions today will decide whether liberty will survive in the future.
Hope everyone has a happy new year and that we all fight harder for liberty and freedom in the new year!