Earlier this year, I had the misfortune of experiencing the suppression of free speech on my college campus. An issue had come about in my English class, where one day I decided to speak out in opposition to the material being presented to us – stuff that was, to put it mildly, anti-white and anti-men. I had raised a simple question to my teacher: “Why are we reading this hateful stuff in regards to one group, but not hearing the other side of the argument?” The response was somewhat of a surprise to me. My professor had approached me and began to raise her voice at me in front of the class as I tried to explain my perspective – being someone who felt unnecessarily target by the writing. It got to a point where she took an opinion poll of the class, and when it showed that most people disagreed with me, she suggested that I was wrong and that I should leave the class. I felt belittled, humiliated, and angry after this very unprofessional exchange.
Shortly after this class, on the very same day, one of my friends had invited me to a club meeting for the Young Americans for Liberty (YAL). I skeptically attended, initially expecting to leave the meeting after about 10 minutes of attending. But what instead ended up happening, long story short, was that I got the opportunity to meet a bunch of those in charge of YAL. These people include the very helpful Ms. Pooja Bachani, who got me in touch with Alex Staudt who, in turn, gave me some great advice for moving forward. I had the chance to tell them my story, about how my voice had been stifled, and they were more than willing to hear it. Various members of YAL went out of their way and took time out of their day to help me out. I was able to arrange a discussion with the English department head so that my issue could be straightened out. Mailande Dewitt, in particular, went out of her way to help get me prepared for the meeting – which helped me immensely in reaching a satisfactory conclusion. It was because of YAL's emotional support that I was able to be calm and collected in my meeting. It was because of their advice that I was able to negotiate properly with the department for a proper solution, and it was because of YAL that we reached an agreement that everyone was happy about. I am so glad I had the opportunity to meet these wonderful people in what would have otherwise been a very stressful time for me. As a college student, it is amazing to have a community like YAL that has your back. They made me feel like my voice still mattered.