June 26, 2013. Liberty activists can attest that the struggle always seems to be one step forward, three steps back. But there is one place in America where the ember of liberty has burst out into a three-alarm fire. College campuses have always been dominated by ultra-liberal students and faculty. But Young Americans for Liberty has given a place for freedom-conscious students to rally around. And their numbers are booming.
As a brief introduction, Young Americans for Liberty is a college campus student organization that focuses on, you guessed it, liberty. This author has been reporting on their activities for two years now and can attest that their numbers are growing every day. In just the last year, they’ve multiplied their membership and the number of colleges and universities they have chapters at exponentially. Each YAL event seems to break a new record for attendance. And most of all, their impact on our nation’s elections is becoming ever more noticeable.
Young Americans for Liberty
As detailed on YAL’s website, ‘Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) is the largest, most active, and fastest-growing pro-liberty organization on America's college campuses. With more than 380 chapters and 125,000 student activists nationwide, YAL seeks to identify, educate, train, and mobilize young people committed to winning on principle.’
Haling from the Ron Paul-libertarian wing of America’s political spectrum, YAL presents a rare and unique combination of Republicans, Libertarians and independents. It’s no secret that both the GOP and the Libertarian Party have courted the organization in hopes of gaining their increasingly influential support. So far, at least from outward appearances, the group has remained non-partisan and openly supportive of almost all pro-liberty causes.
That’s not to say one wouldn’t occasionally find a powerful Republican Congressman or local a Libertarian Party official at a Young Americans for Liberty function. In fact, YAL is one of the few places where the two parties actually work together successfully. With the group’s numbers growing steadily and rapidly, their army of young, intelligent, idealistic and passionate members are already a powerful force in American politics.
2013 YAL National Convention
On August 3, 2013, Young Americans for Liberty will hold its 5th annual national convention. It’s already guaranteed to be the largest in the group’s history and will boast YAL representatives from over 150 colleges and universities. The four-day event is being held at George Mason University just outside Washington, DC. According to YAL’s Lauren Evans, “This event brings together the best and brightest young people in the youth movement for liberty to network, share ideas, and learn how to become better leaders.”
As of this writing, the YAL National Convention has confirmed the attendance and keynote speeches of seven US Congressmen. They include Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC), Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), and Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL).
Interns, writers and awards
Showing how energized and successful Young Americans for Liberty has been the past year, the campus organization has recently sent out a rapid-fire series of notices announcing various opportunities for members and supporters to get more involved. They include internships, writing assignments and even activist awards.
‘Apply for the best internship EVER!’ YAL’s announcement begins, ‘We just opened the application for YAL's competitive Fall 2013 internship program. This is your opportunity to advance freedom, get your foot in the door for a full-time job in the liberty movement, gain valuable practical experience — and get paid doing it.’ The YAL internship starts August 19, pays $750 per month and includes free lodging at the YAL House in Alexandria, VA, with YAL’s other interns.
‘Calling all writers!’ was the opening of another recent YAL announcement. ‘Want to perfect your writing skills? Build your resume? Create an online following? Express yourself? And gain experience as a blogger?’ the group asks, ‘If you're a YAL member and a strong writer, we want you to join our blogging team this summer!’ The offer promises, ‘This is a great way to get your foot in the door as a professional writer. If you have ambitions to become a journalist, author, or reporter, this is your chance to start a career.’
Young Americans for Liberty also just announced the nominations for their two prestigious awards. One recognizes the campus ‘Event of the Year’, while the other pays homage to the ‘Chapter of the Year’. With more than 400 YAL campus chapters across the country, it must have been difficult to narrow it down to 21 schools and 4 event nominees.
Unfortunately, neither the Event nor Chapter Whiteout Press would like to vote for are on the list. Back in January, this author reported on the record-setting attendance at an event hosted by YAL’s Northern Illinois University chapter. It drew 88 participants from YAL chapters in six surrounding states. Awards voting is open to all liberty activists (limit one vote per person), so show your support and vote for your favorite YAL chapter and event.
For more information on any of the above items, visit YALiberty.org.
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