The YAL chapter at Ithaca College wanted to kick off Freedom Week the right way. Although we were rained out from holding the event outside, our free speech ball took center stage in the student union. The ball drew in almost every student who passed by. Each student, faculty and staff member were warmly greeted with the chance to celebrate their first amendment right by writing on the ball. We then informed them about IC’s inaugural Freedom Week, for which this was the kickoff event.
Our street team consisted of five IC YAL leaders, and two leaders from the newly-forming Cornell University YAL chapter. Each student played a role interacting with the public, so that we were all consistently engaged. This event served as great on-the-ground experience for these underclassmen, who will both assume leadership of IC YAL next semester and to help kickstart Cornell YAL as this year closes.
Gabriella Hoffman, Northeast Regional Field Coordinator at the Leadership Institute, helped us to execute this event. It was a privilege to work with her. We made promoting our upcoming screening of “Can We Take a Joke?” a priority at our beach ball event. We asked about 150 students directly if they would attend our premiere, and we look forward to seeing many of those students on the April 13th premiere.
Ithacans laugh in the face of inclement weather. Today was no exception, and we overcame the cold to fight for free speech.