With the kind help of the people at Young Americans for Liberty, I was able to officially form my chapter on campus last week.
The problems that students are facing on the college campus are happening right now. Therefore I had no time to go through the bureaucracy commonly associated with doing something like forming a chapter on campus. Activism is needed now. In under a month, I was able to gain school recognition, send out applications, hold interviews and put together my founding board.
Here is how I did it.
Step 1: Recognition.
The truth is, that the average university is probably not interested in bringing a YAL chapter to campus. The reason? Because these chapters fight against the very institutions that house them in order to ensure that liberty defeats bureaucracy at all costs. Even at the detriment of the administration or faculty (if need be).
That is why if they are trying to stall the process of founding the chapter, you must use YAL's strengths against them. The beauty of having a team of people committed solely to liberty is that the organization often publicly fights the university and paints the picture to the public that the university is limiting the most basic of constitutional rights.
So when my chapter needed to undergo an appeal hearing, I was prepared to subtly explain to the council I sat before how it would look if the organization started fighting with the school. I set up a table at the club fair with giant signs prepared that said “our school limits free speech.” When they saw those, they weren't going to say a word; the last thing they wanted was for me to start hanging them up. The chapter was recognized almost instantaneously. Leverage 101, people. You don't need to be a business major to be smart.
Step 2: Build a team
After all the work and stress that goes into step one, the last thing you want is to either run the thing by yourself or accidentally employ a bunch of oafs. So the first thing I did was send out countless mass emails to the entire campus with easy-to-use applications attached. When making your application, do not ask a large amount of nuanced and convoluted questions. It will make everyone's lives difficult.
You see, I am happy to work with people who disagree with me. That is what liberty is all about. But what I needed was to make sure that the people in the higher ranking roles of the organization agreed with the most fundamental ideas of liberty, which is why one of the only questions I asked was for a detailed analysis of the constitution and its role in American society. If the applicant was on the same page as me and YAL as it pertained to the constitution then he/she was worth an interview.
At the interviews, I discussed the roles that would be available, mentioned the organization's different events, and built a diverse team with multiple skill sets. I have one political guy, one business oriented individual, one who is managerial, and myself who is keen enough in all of those areas to properly oversee them. Ultimately, as the chapter initiator, you better feel comfortable in all of those areas if you want your chapter to be a winner.
Step 3: The Executive Meeting
Like any business, the chapter will disintegrate if there is fighting within the executives. That is why, on the very first night of our existence, I held a meeting with the entire founding board in an effort to outline everyone's roles and responsibilities. I made sure to hear everyone out and make everyone happy. When we were all on the same page, we were able to move forward with the official online registration of the chapter.
Step 4: Making Moves
Hit the ground running. That is my philosophy in every thing I do. I put the pedal to the metal until I crash into a pole. And when I do, I put that baby in reverse and keep driving. This is what it is all about. Not only in building an on-campus chapter but also in the entire political field. Campaigns, administrations, and political media, for example, all run this way.
That is why on our very first night I reached out to my state chair and regional director and made a game plan on how to move forward and how to bring my chapter to success. I have no doubt that I will.
I look forward to working with all of you in the future. I look forward to joining your summits and collaborating on ideas.
Follow us on twitter, reach out, and lets get to work.