Kicking Off the School Year with YAL@UIUC

In collaboration with Social Media Chair, Bill Karr.

The Young Americans for Liberty at UIUC has had a fantastic first few weeks of this school year! We had a tabling event at our campus called Quad Day, where all of the student organizations get a chance to attract new members, especially freshmen.
Then, we had an introductory meeting, a planning meeting, and a tabling event to announce our showing of Flex Your Rights‘ Busted: A Citizen’s Guide to Surviving Police Encounters. Most exciting, we’ve had around 15 new members regularly showing up to our meetings and getting involved!

Our Quad Day tabling was extremely successful. Using an Operation Politically Homeless Kit courtesy of The Advocates for Self-Government as well as tabling kits from Young Americans for Liberty and Students For Liberty, we signed up over 115 new members and talked to hundreds more. We also handed out dozens of copies of Students For Liberty’s newest publication After the Welfare State, in addition to The Morality of Capitalism, Inclined to Liberty, and The Road to Serfdom. The part of our table that attracted the most people and set us apart from other political groups was our Nolan Chart. Young freshmen were especially interested in a table that was allowing them to take the World’s Shortest Political quiz and give them an idea of where they were politically. Here are a couple pictures!

A few members at our table gearing up to meet some freshmen
A few members at our table, gearing up to meet some freshmen

Several Freshmen seeing where they fall on the Nolan Chart
Several freshmen seeing where they fall on the Nolan Chart

At our first meeting, we had 32 people show up! I gave a presentation on what our group is all about, summarizing our events last year, and showing that our club is very social and that we have a lot of fun together outside of being politically active. Following my presentation, one of our Media Chairs, Bill Karr, had all of the new members briefly tell us why they came to our meeting, how they got interested in liberty, and what they’re looking to get out of being part of YAL. Having them do this engaged them and I think was part of the reason why so many new members showed up to our second meeting.

Bill leading the discussion with new membersBill Karr leading the discussion with new members

Our second meeting was for planning out the semester and saw a turnout of almost 30 people. We described previous events and had new members talk about which types of events they’d like to participate in. Here’s a list of events we are planning for this year:

  • 2nd Amendment Gun Range Outing
  • Anti-War Chalking
  • Drug War Protest
  • Drinking Laws Protest
  • Free Speech Campaign
  • Internet Freedom Event
  • Crony Capitalism Tabling
  • Marriage Equality Collaboration with LGBT group on campus
  • Presidential Debate Parties
  • Ladies of Liberty Event
  • Move Nights (e.g. V for Vendetta, Atlas Shrugged, etc.)

Aside from these activism and social events, we are planning on having forums during our weekly meetings on various topics related to liberty.

Me offering books and some awesome liberty swag to one of our new membersMe offering books and various liberty swag to one of our new members

We also tabled for and had a showing of Busted: A Citizen’s Guide to Surviving Police Encounters, a film produced by Flex Your Rights. This was a way to inform new freshmen on campus how to deal with the police and what rights they had in police encounters. We felt this was a great way to reach out to new freshman, since it appeals to most new college students. We had an attorney who works in Student Legal Services at UIUC at the showing to provide commentary and answer any questions as well, being able to speak from a first-hand perspective.

Tabling to advertise the screening
Tabling to advertise the screening

We’re looking forward to a great year after such a great start. We can already tell that our chapter is going to be more active than last year with so many new members who are eager to learn more about and continue spreading the message of liberty!

To keep up-to-date on the club’s activity, make sure to visit our chapter page, check out our Flickr Photostream, like our Facebook fan page, and follow us on Twitter.

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