This semester Young Americans for Liberty at Liberty University got started spreading the message of freedom on campus. Though the school’s administration tended to create a more neoconservative-friendly environment, we made a lot of progress and look forward to future semesters. We had many defeats along with our victories, but nonetheless we are still fighting for liberty.
The semester began with much controversy because the univerisity would not allow YAL to meet on campus. Liberty University does not allow political groups — even if non-partisan — to become official clubs, and unofficial clubs were not allowed to meet on school grounds. This left us without a campus home, forcing us to meet in the student center or in open classrooms without prior permission — not a very attractive option, since we wanted to follow the rules.
Fortunately, the rules changed once a neocon student group wanted to form on campus. Now we have “official” clubs and “unofficial” clubs. Both have the same rules except “unofficial” clubs, like YAL-LU, don’t get funding. That’s ok, however, because with the activism kit and other resources we get from YAL, we don’t need their money.
Once everything with the classrooms got straightened out, we were on our way to spreading the message of liberty. We began with setting up tables in the main academic building. This attracted a lot of people as we hung up the Gadsden flag and gave away Constitutions. We also set up tables at the special Helm’s School of Government Chapel. YAL-LU also made a trip up the Mid-Atlantic Students for Liberty Conference where we learned a lot from the speakers and did a lot of networking.
In October of this year, Liberty University had scheduled Newt Gingrich to come speak. YAL-LU had set up to protest his big government policies and hypocritical family values. The day before the protest, however, we received messages from the Chancellor and the VP of Student Affairs that we would face dire consequences if we continued with the protest.
Also, on November 18th, YAL-LU had scheduled the president of LEAP, Neil Franklin, to come in and speak on the drug war in the US and how it has failed. After personally having a meeting with the VP of Student Affairs the school once again stopped us, saying by email that they did not “believe it is in the best interest of Liberty to host this meeting on campus. I am sorry. Liberty has a long standing policy against illegal drug use.” LEAP has been very helpful and is helping us reschedule the meeting at a coffee shop in downtown Lynchburg.
We did grow our membership and regular meeting attenders by fourthis semester. We count each person as a victory and we are glad to have them. New members include Joshua Metzger, Matthew Benzmiller, Kelsey Crockett, and Jonathen Zaffke. We have many exciting events in planning for the future. An event showing the problems with the TSA searches is in the planning. Video and pictures will be up from that event.
It seems as if YAL-LU has the exact opposite program of every other university. Everywhere else the administration is too liberal; at Liberty they are too neoconservative. We are working hard to continue spreading the message of liberty. We are going to the Youth Leadership School in Arlington in a couple weeks to learn how to be more effective. Please keep us in mind as we continue the fight for freedom.