Penn State Young Americans for Liberty jumped right into the Spring 2013 Free Markets 101 Events by participating in two projects on the same day: Rags or Riches and Jenga-nomics.
We started out at the “HUB” Center, which acts as a meeting place for students here at Penn State. We chose the table that would best suit our needs: one that was located in a high traffic area next to the top of a stair case.
Essentially, people would ascend the steps and could only go through two activists handing out the YAL-provided flyers with our name and meeting dates. The thought was that this would garner the greatest yield of potential members, as well as educating as many of the student body as possible..and we were right.
Keeping with the Austrian tradition, we decided to offer small candy rewards of M&Ms, as well as Snickers. These rewards would be given out based on how correctly one filled out the Rags or Riches chart. Our prospective members walked away with an education in economics and anything but a bad taste in their mouth.
We also discovered that phrasing a greeting to students was key. Originally we went with “Would you like to play a game?” (analogous to a creepy jigsaw voice), but found that students weren’t interested, nor did they have the time to play games between classes. So we improvised, asking “Hey, have you ever wondered where we sit as a nation in economic freedom? What if I told you how free we are is the key to how much of a paycheck you’re going to earn when you leave this place?”
We asked the questions that normal political groups on campus wouldn’t even countenance as being an attention grabber for students…which ended up working as well.
Jenga ended up being a huge blast, and offered an alternative activity when the Rags or Riches event became too over crowded. This allowed us to crowd control more effectively, and ensure no-one was disgruntled at being ignored, as well as ensuring everyone had their names put on our mailing list.
The fancy flyers provided by YAL were a HUGE help. It made us look even more professional as we explained our organization and our functions on campus. On more than one occasion we were complimented on the look of the flyers, so I definitely recommend chapters to use the materials provided by YAL National. It WILL make a difference in the style department…which may be just enough to convince a prospective member. Just don’t forget to put meeting times and up-coming events (for our case, a social this Friday held by one of our members) on the space provided in the flyer.
All in all, we discovered that these events were GREAT attention grabbers. Everything from econ majors trying to impress their girlfriends, to Austrians finally finding that outlet for their beliefs, it was a huge success. And even the students we couldn’t get to come to meetings ended up wanting to be “involved in events like this” and wanted us to know when and where the next one is to be held. Even YAF (who were celebrating Reagan’s birthday a floor above us at the time) wanted to check us out. A great day for liberty at PSU.
Well, off to conduct our intro meeting (scheduled the same day) for the newbies we got today!Published in