Young Americans for Liberty at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte is breaking new personal records, right and left. We have identified hundreds of students, through tabling on campus. We have educated these students, during our weekly chapter meetings. We have trained these new activists, through filling new leadership positions and through conferences and conventions. And most importantly, we’ve mobilized our entire chapter – new and old members alike – through activism on campus. Needless to say, this has been our most active and successful semester yet. And we are just getting started.
Our leadership team returned to campus educated and energized from the 2016 Young Americans for Liberty National Convention. After winning Southeast Event of the Year, we knew we had to up our game. So we got to planning a successful semester, and hit the road running.
Our successful semester started with a successful recruitment drive. We set up our table amongst other political organizations, but ours stood out because we used an interactive quiz to start conversations with students as they walked by. That day we gained over 100 sign-ups! Immediately after, we personally reached out to each one, inviting them to the chapter meeting that we held immediately after the fair.
We took this energy and channeled it into one of our most successful chapter meetings of the year. That night we had over SIXTY new and returning members attend our first meeting. Many of these new recruits are now officers in our chapter. The energy in the room was palpable and carried on into our first social of the semester, which followed!
From then on, we never missed an opportunity to table. Ben, our Recruitment Director, ensured that we had a table set up on campus every week. This has created so much value for our chapter as new members attend our events every week and the “liberty family” grows!
We’ve also switched up the way our chapter meetings are run a little bit, and have involved chapter members as much as possible. Now, we have a chapter member present on a topic they're passionate about each meeting. Here’s a picture of Trey, one of our chapter members, speaking on political philosophy and different types of laws.
Also, the political science and philosophy departments were sure to reach out to us when debate time came around. Trey represented the pro-liberty perspective on stage next to the College Democrats and College Republicans. Many students were relieved that there was a third option and talked to us about the ideas of liberty following the debate!
Most of our semester has been spent planning and recruiting for the biggest event in UNC Charlotte YAL history, which took place on our campus, on October 22nd. During the 2016 Students for Liberty Blue Ridge Regional Conference our chapter hosted Austin Petersen, David Friedman, Jeffrey Tucker, Greg Brannon, seven partner organizations, and over 100 pro-liberty activists from across our region. YAL's Director of Free Speech even gave a presentation on free speech reform. It was extremely successful, and we will be sure to post soon about how we planned and exicuted the free speech event of the semester!
While tabling, I’ve personally gotten the chance to talk to many students on our campus. They express the same concerns for the future of our nation. The 2016 presidential election and modern political culture has disenfranchised many students. During these times it’s so easy to resort to apathy, however our chapter has made it our mission to identify these students and plug them into our movement. Each day we attempt to change this somber narrative to one of hope through hands-on grassroots activism, and genuine substantive conversation based in the principles of liberty.
Our movement is the impetus for change on UNC Charlotte’s campus, and a pretty neat family, too! Big things are coming, no doubt. Stay tuned.