The University of Central Florida chapter of Young Americans for Liberty recently organized a Debt Fair at the UCF Campus. We erected a dual-sided 40 ft. display of the national debt and encouraged several other student organizations and local political organizations to join us in demonstrating our concerns for the direction of this nation. Representatives from the UCF College Republicans, the Knights Rifle Association, the UCF chapter of a National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), and the Orange County Campaign for Liberty were present at this event.
Getting everything prepared for an event of this caliber required a lot of work. Our chapter decided to make day of it and have a liberty-q at my house. We cooked out, swam, consumed a few adult beverages, and most importantly got our debt clock ready for action. This was a great opportunity to talk strategy and make sure everyone was on the same page for “Game Day.”
In order to have success with any event, marketing is essential. To promote for our Debt Fair we passed out flyers in the weeks building up to the event, spoke about the event at meetings held by other student organizations, and plastered the campus with clever chalk phrases including, “Got Debt?,” “Debt Is Not The Answer,” “Free Money at Memory Mall,” and many more.
At the head of this display was our Liberty Headquarters. Here, we not only offered students refuge from the Florida sunshine but encouraged them to sign the YAL debt petition as well as the petitions for the Audit the Federal Reserve Bills, H.R. 459 and S. 202. We also had two laptops at our table: one that remained on www.usdebtclock.org and one with contact information for our representative, allowing students to physically call their Congressmen and Senators and lobby them for fiscal sanity. We were able to collect over 100 signatures for the YAL petition and several students called their representatives. Students that attempted to ignore the GIANT display were unable to escape the economic insights of F.A. Hayak that were blasted over the loud speaker.
Due to the magnitude of this event and the current political dialogue surrounding the national debt, we were able to garner a significant amount of local media coverage. Cory Chenard, our Alumni Advisor, was interviewed by WFTV Channel 9 as well as Knight News. He was also able to get an opinion piece about our event published in the Orlando Sentinel. In addition, our event was also covered by the Central Florida Future.
In an attempt to combat the growing debt problem, we took it upon ourselves to engage in our own version of quantitative easing and stimulate the campus economy. We successfully pumped an additional 700 Trillion dollars into the student money supply and are now patiently waiting for increased economic prosperity. We included our mission statement and meeting information on the back of each Bernanke Trillion Dollar note. Several students understood the irony we were attempting to illustrate but for those that did not, we were granted an excellent opportunity to discuss inflation and the absurdity of the solutions being offered by those in Washington.
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Our follow up meeting was an overwhelming success. We had over 30 students show up, many who I had never seen before. We did a quick ice breaker followed by a brief presentation on debt, quantitative easing, and inflation and then wrapped up with the schedule for upcoming events. Everyone was very enthusiastic about liberty and eager to get involved with our chapter. Afterwards, we all headed to our campus pup for a victory beer.
This event was a multi-faceted victory for our YAL chapter. We were able to achieve every goal that we set for this event.
1. We introduced hundreds of new students to the ideas of liberty.
2. We experienced a significant increase in chapter membership.
3. We strengthened our relationship with other student organizations.
4. We established ourselves as the leading political organization on campus.
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This event was so successful we have decided to erect the display every Wednesday until finals week. So stay tuned for updates!