Record-setting YAL kids take over Progressive Paradise at Northern Illinois U.

The Young Americans for Liberty chapter at Northern Illinois University has operated under an administration that is set on stifling speech rights and ensuring no one messes with the status quo. That is why my chapter set an ambitious plan to bring more attendees for a Youth Leadership School (YLS) than anyone else in the Midwest ever. And we did it. 88 activists and YAL members attended our Youth Leadership School on January 12-13th.

group photo

Above, the pro-liberty attendees for one of the top YLS events the Leadership Institute has hosted in 30+ years.

Our chapter has a core group of 8 members with the ambition to stop the infringement on student’s rights by an administration that has gone unchallenged for decades. We immediately advertised to our fellow YAL groups in the state.  We thought maybe a few would come, instead NINE pro-liberty student groups & SIX grassroots organizations came out.  We were happy to have several local elected officials reserve spots as well. We knew this was really going to be a big event!

We used the resources available at and delegated tasks to various group members.  The promotion was handled by myself, where I utilized our Membership Upload Tool to send emails and call all our previous sign-ups and contacted other chapter leaders.  This was instrumental in our recruiting effort.  I also contacted my fellow liberty activists in the state to invite them to support the youth effort in Illinois. 

Our room reservation was challenging because we kept going over capacity for rooms we wanted.  At first, we had 23 registered guests, soon it was 50, then 70 and when the Leadership Institute website had nearly blown its flux capacitor, the count was at 90.  My chapter members pretty much had the university events coordinator phone number on speed dial the week leading up to the event to ensure venue changes went smoothly!

As I work in the Leadership Institute building, I had the chance to craft the material to our needs.  The numerous YAL groups in attendance learned the real nature of politics and how you can effective fight your school’s speech codes and alter the environment of your university.  For our students, it was amazing for them to be handed the game plan for a takeover.

breakout YAL

In our YAL breakout session, we set membership goals for each chapter across the Midwest. Each group is now applying for the Free Market 101 Recruitment Kit, choosing between Jenga-nomics, Rags or Riches, or Chrony Capitalism to utilize on their campus to combat liberal bias.  We met with Leadership Institute regional staff and Mr. Chris Doss to learn valuable insight to the typical and often hollow push-back administrations will put on youth. 

As a result from these talks, we are scheduling an additional 2 YLS sessions in Illinois and a “Campus Election Boot-camp” to coach our chapters through getting our members elected to important campus positions.  To host your own, make sure to contact the Leadership Institute.

Already, our chapter at Northern Illinois will be canvassing on and off-campus housing to get a firm handle on what issues are most important to students, rally support for our group and have access to thousands of individuals contact information to turn them out to future events!

Book handout

Above, participants celebrating the opportunity to utilize these resources and have a chance to catch books thrown into the crowd.

The staff worked with us to build our existing leadership, create special projects, work with campus media, organize a high-profile candidate visit and learn the plans for what other organizations are doing to succeed on campus.

This event has sparked a new passion in the leadership of YAL and pro-liberty groups that came out from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Kansas, Iowa, and Missouri.  We have all vowed to ensure we push each other through competition in achieving recruitment goals and several groups will be following up to ensure a strong YAL presence on student government.  The NIU YAL chapter has gained three new officers and has begun the process of planning our timeline and sign up more dues-paying members.

yal pic

Above, the YAL Leadership Team in Illinois and a few from the Midwest armed with knowledge to take back our campuses.

We have already gained an additional pro-liberty group in Minnesota and are looking to have our other attendees establish a YAL group on their campuses.   As this semester opens, make sure you utilize the resources YAL provides.  Our YAL chapter along with Harper College, Iowa University, University of Minnesoata, Saint Cloud State, Western Illinois and Drake University will be ordering Jenga-nomics and Rags or Riches kits.  We are reaching out to other Illinois and area groups to ensure they join our network.  These resources will significantly help you bring people to your turn out event. 

This has set us up for a fantastic semester, and we look forward to seeing other great turnout events by other YAL chapters!

Published in

Post a comment