The new chapter of YAL at Stephen F. Austin University is proud to present you with the story of our most recent activity in the community to defend and promote liberty to the public.
We have recently been protesting the newly presented “Athletics Referendum,” a resolution that essentially adds the combined moneys of $9 extra per credit hour per student to the schools athletics program (which already has a budget of $13 million per year from our student fees). Though the school seems to believe that the fee increase is the only means to their absolutely necessary funding for a program that already receives more cash than any other, they seem to have forgotten one fundamental notion: Not all students care about athletics — or want to fund them.
That brought us to the question: Why should students not interested in and not participating in any area of athletics be forced to pay for those who do?
Flummoxed by this conundrum, we initially sought the writers of the referendum only to find to our shock that the bill hadn’t even been written yet. Oddly, every single athletics student had been widely promoting a ghost bill. Of course we noticed this age-old trick of public institutions seeming to think that increasing taxes over the many to provide for a specific sector through a fog of confusion and a lot of willpower behind it.
Soon after we began to table and protest around campus to raise awareness. Much of the student body was just as surprised as us that the issue had been kept so secret and obscure. We garnered more than a hundred signatures on our petition to vote “no” to the referendum, and many more have been spreading the word from person to person. Besides gaining the attention of the university and its students, an article was also published in the city newspaper that mentions our endeavors.
On the week of Thanksgiving Break, the newspaper printed an issue addressing the context of the fee increase. Coincidentally, they didn’t seem it necessary to mention that it would increase cost for a degree plan of around $1,800 a person, but did seem it necessary to stress just how badly we needed the funding and imply how any student loyal to the university would happily support the other students. It sounded a bit similar to the argument of being patriotic by supporting every decision or executive order passed through DC. Though, while tabling we didn’t come under any drone attack, we did notice that droves of athletics students were set in their notion of a “yes” vote, and somehow couldn’t see how unfair it was for us to pay for them.
Besides combatting the referendum, the protest has brought much awareness of the existence of our organization and we have had several new members and potentially interested parties join inadvertently, because of the campaign. The institution and its continuing lack of transparency and bureaucratic coercive methods have woken a sector of the people who are prepared to join the liberty movement. It is evident that not only is the old system failing but a new one is rising to take its place, one where the individual and not the collective or so-called “greater good” is valued.
We thank all those who have helped us to start our organization and have supported us in these infant stages. We have high hopes for the school and its students as well as YAL and all supporters of liberty. May this small testament be a symbol of the enlightenment that is rapidly growing in America and that will continue to gain influence in politics, both from DC to the classrooms.Published in