SUNY Albany YAL: It’s only the beginning!

SUNy Albany YAl with Jacob Hornberger

I am going to use this blog post to tell our chapter’s story from its humble beginnings to what it has become as well as what I hope for it to be. 

As we all know, Dr. Ron Paul stated in 2012 that “An idea whose time has come cannot be stopped by any army or any government.”  Like many in the liberty movement  it is my hope that with hard work, dedication, and with herculean persistence, that we can achieve liberty in our time.  Knowing that also as Dr. Paul uttered that “Revolutions are long term projects,” it is my intention to show the reader how our chapter of YAL is applying this long term vision of planning to our future operations.

SUNY Albany YAL Choose Charity

Suny Albany YAL (UA YAL) started as the successor organization to SUNY Albany Youth for Ron Paul (UA YFRP).  SUNY Albany Youth for Ron Paul was led by myself, activist Caitlin Walsh, and activist Tom Havens.  With our group of 3, along with aid from the Capitol Region Campaign for Liberty, we obtained 1000 signatures during the campaign to get Dr. Paul to come to SUNY Albany.  Although we were successful, the school was going to charge us $4,000 to use the facility that would have housed the event, and being cash-strapped and short on time, we did not get Dr. Paul to come to Albany.

SUNY Albany YAL FACL Training

With the end of the Ron Paul campaign, I was unsure what to do with the base for the liberty movement we had created at the University.  In the middle of the least free state in the union, what could such a small amount of people do?  Luckily, I was invited to attend the YAL National Convention that very summer, and because of  the knowledge I gained there and the people I met, I mad it my goal to form a YAL chapter and make it a hub for the principles of liberty at the University at Albany.

SUNY Albany YAL from humble beginnings

Such a task although seemingly unreachable, was something in my heart I knew had to be accomplished.  While on vacation, I contacted Caitlin from UA YFRP and Jacob Sherretts, a UAlbany student who at the time I barely knew.  Together we became the “founding members” of SUNY Albany YAL, with my friends Megan Stuhlmuller, Alex Esposito and Kevin Schordine coming later.  With a Constitution written up and going through the approval process of our SGA we set out to advocate for liberty in our time on a campus that I thought would be hostile to the message.

What did we accomplish?  In our first year, SUNY ALbany YAL did 17 unique activism events and cosponsored 1 event with the College Democrats.  We grew by a factor of 10 increasing our number of activists from 3 to 30, and we raised over $1,600 for our chapter’s operations.  We also achieved permanent recognition status from our SGA and are well on our way to do even bigger things next semester.  We met many individuals, made new friends and allies (perhaps some enemies as well), and despite obstacles and hurdles that presented themselves, we performed outstandingly regardless of what came our way.

You can see more details in the “State of the YAL” report attached to this post.

With these accomplishments, we are not simply going away, but keeping the pressure on.  Our ideas for next semester are very bold and we will introduce new internal control measures to make our group’s operations more efficient and inclusive of a large amount of our members.

To summarize our goals for next year:

We will implement:

  • A system to incorporate our freshman population into the activities of our executive board by utilizing the concept of E-Board assistants
  • “Liberty Points”: a system which will incentive all members to be involved and to educate themselves.  There where be different values attached to involvement and self education that will translate to rewards and recognition. The exact details still need to be hammered out.

We will create:

  • A “Liberty on the Rocks” club alongside our YAL to act as a hub for our social activities
  • An SFL CC in order to spread liberty on campus and get access to more resources for activism

We will do new bold events:

  • Second Amendment Week
  • Economic Rights Event
  • Leadership Institute Training
  • Ron Paul Speaking Event
  • Many more to come!

It has been a fantastic year and we have another great one coming up!

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