This fall, Young Americans for Liberty at Kansas State University witnessed our most eventful and effective recruitment drive to-date.
Over the course of the summer, members met at a local coffee shop every Monday to brainstorm for ways we could improve our chapter and outreach this year. What we decided we wanted to do was make it a point to bring the foundation of liberty to our campus by having travelling speakers come in each month, while also having weekly meetings and tabling alongside the national activism events suggested by YAL National. One of the ideas that we thought would make our recruitment drive particularly effective was by offering incentives for students to get involved with K-State YAL.
The first incentive we used was free books, in particular Students For Liberty’s publication Why Liberty and YAL’s custom pocket Constitutions.
All students that passed our table were offered free candy, books, and bumper stickers: all with flyers listing our chapter contact information. The flyers also included information about our weekly Monday nights meetings and all upcoming events, including locations for the speakers that we’re bringing in this month. All in all, 153 copies of Why Liberty were handed out at the activities carnival, and we went through 150 informational flyers in the first week.
The second recruitment incentive was the offer of a liberty giveaway.
For all students that signed up, we offered them the opportunity to enter into a raffle. The prize for being selected was a bag full of free market-friendly goodies including candy, bumper stickers, 14 books, including the Declaration of Independence, Bastiat’s The Law, and FIRE’s Guide to Free Speech on Campus, buttons, and bottle openers. The catch: to find out if you were selected you had to show up at an informational meeting the following Tuesday to hear about why K-State YAL is beneficial to students regardless of class, major, or even political background. Due to Labor Day, our recruitment week was split over a two week period, from August 28th through September 6th.
As a result of gathering momentum throughout the two weeks of recruitment, we added 39 new members to the student listserv, and have gained seven repeat members, three of whom took the initiative to chalk after our meeting last week to advertise for our upcoming speaker, Star Parker, who is came to campus this past Monday, September 16th. We also lured students to our meetings with offers of free pizza, generously provided through YAL National by our sponsors.
The third incentive was the chance to actively participate in chapter events this year.
Never before has K-State Young Americans for Liberty had so many exciting events planned in one semester. Alongside our weekly meetings and biweekly socials, we’re bringing in a new speaker every month to educate K-State on small government solutions to important political issues.This week, we brought Star Parker to speak on campus about how minorities are hurt by the welfare state. We’re also going to be making a giant constitution for Constitution week at the end of September, alongside attending a leadership forum at the student union on September 28th.
In October, Benjamin Powell of Learn Liberty will be coming to campus to speak about immigration, and we’re also planning a mass carpool to Dallas for Students For Liberty’s regional conference. Lastly in November, Ben Jones with Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty will be attending one of our meetings to speak about the death penalty and the unintended consequences that come with big government’s involvement.
We even ended up being mentioned in our campus newspaper with a current member, Jamie Michel, being exclusively interviewed!
I think it is safe to say that the love of liberty and the free market flows freely at Kansas State University. I’m excited to see what this year will bring for our chapter and all of the other stellar groups here in the U.S.