This tax day our club, the Cal State Fullerton Young Americans for Liberty Chapter, wanted to do something special and memorable for the students and club members. We decided to help students become more aware of the obscene amount of national debt that is owed by our government, and must be paid by us. While we have had debt walls and chalking in the past, this year we decided to do something bigger that would leave a lasting impact on the minds and stomachs of our student body.
So we reserved the front of the Titan Walk, a high traffic area, and went about planning a “National Debt Pizza Party!” We secured a grant from the Leadership Institute, a non-partisan educational organization that provides training, funding, and the resources needed to succeed in politics. This grant allowed us to purchase the 18 pizzas (114 slices) that would allow us to visualize the debt during our event.
The night before we worked as a group making posters and marking the plates that we would pass out with the amount of debt per American. That way when students went to get their slice of pizza, they would see their slice of the debt as well.
The day of the event went perfectly. Six club members helped to set up and man the table. We had two members who wore gloves and were in charge of handing out the pizza and telling the students what the pizza signified and why the plates had that number. Two others were in charge of making sure each student who got pizza signed up to our email list and provided their name, email, phone and grad date.
Finally our other members were verbally advertising for the event and answering any questions that interested students wanted to know. We gave out all 114 slices of pizza in less than two hours and received 103 sign-ups! (some of the pizza went to our hungry volunteers)
We also were able to talk to many students personally and let them know about the many opportunities our club offers, as well as the organizations that partner with us to provide training, jobs, and careers.
Some students were very interested in the upcoming State Convention while others seemed very drawn towards the internship opportunities that are available through YAL and the Leadership Institute, saying that they had always thought about working on a campaign.
Of course we also made sure to talk about the debt to all students who were surprised, terrified, and simply overwhelmed by the runaway national debt. Many students couldn’t comprehend the massive amount of money we were talking about and others said that it’d be impossible for our generation to pay it back, especially given that the majority of students graduate with their own sizable amount of student debt.
In the end I think we were able to bring a lot of awareness about our national debt to the students and faculty of our university as well as provide them a positive experience with our club and a free lunch.
We would like to thank the Leadership Institute for their activism grant and all of our volunteer club members for their time.