The University of New Mexico’s YAL chapter has had quite the exciting start to our spring semester here in Albuquerque. We had our first meeting the week before school started. Our chapter’s officers met and planned out our first week back, which officially started on January 19th. We started off the week strong with our largest turnout ever at our weekly YAL meetings, with 21 veteran and new members in attendance.
In those first two weeks of class, our chapter knocked out two separate tabling events, one targeted towards freshman and the other open to the entire student populace, where we engaged many people on the topic of liberty and their Constitutional rights. We even made some new friends and potential members in the process.
Members of our chapter got together one Saturday and collected the materials and constructing a Free Speech Box. The following week we set it up in UNM’s Smith Plaza in order to raise awareness for UNM’s not-particularly-First-Amendment-friendly Speech Code.
We tried to show students that the codes seek to not offend people’s feelings on campus by limiting what students can or cannot say. Our school is labeled by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) as having a Red Light status.
This particular endeavor proved quite fruitful as it attracted quite the gathering. Students eagerly sought to get their opinions out. We are using this event as the catalyst for a hopeful overturn of our school’s free speech code policy.
Liberty, and the battle for it, has never before been stronger at UNM.