Speaking Freely at Virginia Commonwealth University

Richmond, Virginia, is home to many “enlightened” young adults. With more thrift stores per capita than any other city in the world, Richmond serves as the unofficial hipster capital of Virginia. As one wanders around campus they are quick to notice the plethora of unique individuals. Our challenge is to find a way to message liberty to the very interesting students at VCU.

Our chapter decided that the best way to try to bring liberty to this fairly liberal campus was to start with social issues and eventually move our way to economics. We decided that out first events would be a free speech ball to try to promote the First Amendment on campus. We met outside the library just after lunch and began to pump up our ball. Within minutes, we had the attention of both students and campus police, both of which stopped by to ask us what we were up to and wished us luck. After 30 minutes of pumping, our ball was inflated, and we were ready to roll.

We rolled around campus for two hours without any interference from the campus administration. That is with the exception of a contracted photographer who thought our ball was super cool! In our two hours, we were able to fill our sing-up sheets, decorate our ball with beautiful expression of the First Amendment, and discuss liberty with hundreds of students on campus. This was an extremely successful first event at VCU, and I am excited to see what we can do for Richmond moving forward.


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