The 2013-2014 academic year saw our YAL chapter exceed expectations and reach new heights that I never believed possible when I, along with my friends Jacob and Caitlin, started our chapter over two years ago. When I entered the liberty movement I never knew I would become a leader, let alone the President of anything.
My purpose with this blog post is twofold: (1) to report to our friends in the movement the great successes of our YAL chapter this year as well as over the course of its first 2 years, and (2) to relay from the bottom of my heart how grateful I am for the YAL National team, as well as my own team which stood by me for two years to make what we have done and will do at SUNY Albany possible.
For those who do not know, me my name is Skyler DeAngelo, and I am the founder and president of SUNY Albany Young Americans for Liberty. Nearly four years ago I began my journey through college with long hair and a lack of a solid direction…that is until I found Ron Paul.
Invigorated by his run for President, my friend Matt Wimpelberg and I founded SUNY Albany Youth for Ron Paul and under my leadership, we obtained over 1,000 signatures for Ron Paul to come to campus but were stopped by the campus administration — which was going to charge us $4,500 to use its facilities to host him.
That was almost three years ago! Now (long hair gone aside), our Youth for Ron Paul chapter has become an alive and robust YAL that over time has become a mainstay on campus. The best part is that the movement at SUNY Albany is only growing with two new groups started this year and more to come!
But what did we accomplish? I am going to highlight the past two years to you using a number of empirical metrics that we used to track our progress.
Over the past two years, SUNY Albany YAL:
- Successfully executed 33 activism events including: a New York State YAL Convention, a Second Amendment Rally, a Know Your Rights Event and multiple charity events,
- Raised over $4,200 for the cause of liberty (and spent a huge portion of it!) through events like: Chocolates for Liberty, organizational grants, and raising $1,200 during a Second Amendment Rally in Albany (this money does not count the large Student Government appropriation or matching fundraising grants which puts this year’s budget closer to $8,000),
- Went from having a small core of members to having 57 people registered on our YAL page with 20-25 regular attendance for most meetings,
- Went from 0 to 392 likes on our Facebook page and from 0 over 100 followers on our twitter,
- Went from having no people on our list serve to having a list serve of 1,000 students to email about our events,
- Went from being a fringe group of liberty-minded individuals to the political powerhouse on campus receiving three awards in recognition for our efforts: A Student Government Purple and Gold Award, A SUNY Albany Presidential award, and the Best Chapter in the Northeast award at the 2013 YAL National Convention.
Just this year we saw gains including:
16 major activism events undertaken in the 2013-2014 year (Spring Recruitment Drive, General Interest Meeting, YAL State Convention, ISFLC trip, CPAC trip, Choose Charity Spring Edition, LGBT Outreach event, appearance at the Albany Second Amendment Rally to do War on Youth, Fall Recruitment Drive, Fall General Interest Meeting, Constitution Week, Second Amendment Week, SFL NYC Regional Conference, LI YLS School Manchester New Hampshire, Fall Choose Charity and End the FED Week)
- 221 to 392 likes on Facebook
- 2 to 100 followers on twitter
- 30 to 57 new members on our yaliberty.org page
- Over 25% of the $4,200 total being raised at one time from the rally we had a table at which brought $1,200
None of this could have been accomplished without the help of my wonderful friends at SUNY Albany. I want to thank all of them for making these past two years the best of my life. I wish Conner and the team good luck and I look forward to making a difference with each and every one of them, and helping them along. As Morton Blackwell would say, “Build a movement not an empire,” and SUNY Albany YAL is defiantly blazing the trail of liberty in Upstate New York.
I also want to thank Jeff Frazee and the rest of the YAL National team. Without them, I would not have become the man I am today. For that, I am eternally grateful.
The most important lesson I have learned being YAL President over the past two years is that liberty is really about one thing. It is not about knowing the most about markets or being the most correct during debate. Liberty is about love. It is about harnessing your love for fellow man and your wish that he be free and spreading it all over the nation. It is about true compassion and true charity. To set people free from their own limitations to let them achieve their full potential is to love them. This movement has brought me the one I love, the woman who has made my life wonderful, has made me the man I am today and has through its compassion freed the minds of millions of others.
It is my hope that this trend continues and that we achieve liberty in our time.
Skyler Forrest DeAngelo
Founder and First President SUNY Albany Young Americans for Liberty
NY State YAL Chairman