By Kevin Damato | United States
Classical liberals, minarchists and anarchists alike often neglect liberty-minded student organizations. Young people are the future of the liberty movement. Thus, it is often to give their organized groups attention. Student organizations like Students for Liberty (SFL), Young Americans for Liberty (YAL), and College Libertarians are creating the leaders of tomorrow.
I hold an interesting position on this topic, as I have been fighting on the front lines for these groups. Along with founding the Young Americans for Liberty Chapter for George Mason University, I also am an active Campus Coordinator for Students for Liberty.
What the Student Organizations Do
These organizations help students run events on campus, promote candidates, and connect with fellow students as well as well-known libertarians. Some of these groups have accomplished amazing feats. As time passes by, this will only become more common. A few notable examples include:
- YAL’s Operation Win at the Door, which supports liberty-minded candidates through grassroots door-knocking
- SFL’s international outreach and training of thousands
- Large conventions like YALCON and LibertyCon
While similar in beliefs, these student organizations all have individual identities in their organizational structure, outreach strategy, and ultimate goals. This prevents them from stepping on each other’s toes while still advancing the umbrella message of a freer future.
From my perspective, YAL takes a much more politically active role. They attempt to influence who will represent us in government, whereas SFL aims to purely educate people on freedom as a concept.
How Did We Get Here?
Common public-school upbringings tell us that government (specifically the United States government) is a positive force in the world that spreads liberal democracy, free markets, and justice. However, many of these teachers often fail to mention our pointless wars, industrial complexes, overregulated economy, and unfair and discriminatory criminal justice system that the failed War on Drugs perpetuates.
We, as libertarians, need to give credit where it is due to YAL, SFL, and College Libertarians, who fight the uphill battle of getting college students to shed the years of pro-State propaganda that schools gave them.
I encourage you all to join your school’s liberty student organization or create one if it doesn’t exist already. Change is just around the corner and it starts with you.
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