On November 4, 2015, Temple University’s YAL Chapter held a Visualize the Debt event! A few weeks prior, I made a trip home to visit family. Due to the space constraints of living in Philadelphia, I decided to build the debt clock at home and drive it back to school. To gather the materials, I made a trip to Home Depot to get plywood, paint, and other necessary items. I realized I had severely underestimated how heavy all the plywood would be, but thankfully a few guys that worked at Home Depot helped me get it all into my car!
When I arrived at home, I realized that building at 40′ debt clock was a massive task, so I asked my step-dad, Jim, for help. Thankfully, he agreed and helped me paint and assemble the gigantic clock. I couldn’t have done it without him! Once we were finished, he helped me get it back into my car, and I drove it back to school.
The night before the event, our officers had a quick meeting to decide how to best re-assemble the debt clock. We also decided to put everyone’s “piece” of the national debt on a piece of candy as a way to draw people into our display. So many people were in shock to learn that the national debt divided amongst all American citizens is about $57,201 per person (and climbing)!
The day of the event, we set up our display on Polett Walk and started spreading our message. As soon as we set up the debt clock, almost everyone that walked past it stopped to take pictures. We created quite a stir! Thankfully, Nick Glad from the Leadership Institute came to Philadelphia to help us! Various people asked Nick to take pictures of them with the debt, and one guy was so excited that we were bringing attention to this issue, he asked Nick to take a “selfie” with him in front of the national debt. We really could not have had such a successful event without him!
While one person did try to argue with us that the national debt doesn’t matter because “we can just print more money”, the reaction to our display was overwhelmingly positive. So many people told us they couldn’t believe how high the national debt was, and they were in shock to learn how so many politicians continue to increase the debt.
When it was all said and done, we got so many signups we ran out of signup sheets and had to make our own! We had an absolutely amazing time educating our fellow Temple Owls about the national debt. This was our chapter’s fourth activism event of the semester, but it was by far our favorite! We love spreading the message of Liberty and growing our YAL chapter!