The Iowa YAL chapter had been planning on doing a mid-semester recruitment push before thanksgiving break to keep our numbers high going into the Spring Semester. Lucky for us, the university hosts a “Pick One” event encouraging students to 'pick one' student organization to get involved with–similar to our student organization fair at the beginning of the year, but a little later on. We decided it would be the perfect opportunity to do some tabling!
We chose to do the Your Life Your Right theme at our table. Not only were we sparking great conversations about students rights to defend themselves, we also connected this event to trends we have seen on our own campus. Over the past couple years, the university has participated in the “Take Back the Night” event, centered on sexual assault prevention and awareness. I shared my own experience in feeling safer carrying around pepper spray at night, and this seemed to be a common trend seen among a lot of my fellow peers.
I believe that the students here were really open to thinking about their right to self defense in relation to public safety. Overall, this event was a success!