“It used to be college was a place for open dialogue and open debate,” says Says Cliff Maloney Jr., Executive Director at Young Americans for Liberty (YAL). “But now we find free speech zones, we find unconstitutional policies. And thats our goal with…our national fight for free speech campaign. How do we tackle them? How do we change them and reform them?”
YAL, the non-profit pro-liberty organization that emerged from the 2008 Ron Paul campaign, encourages college students to understand and exercise their constitutional rights. “We try to reach kids with these ideas. We do that through activism. Real events–which college campuses are supposed to be all about–taking ideas to students and having these discussions.” Since it’s founding, YAL has increased chapters from 100 to over 700 nationwide. Read the rest of this entry »
For The Daily Caller, Robby Soave reports: Two students are suing the University of Hawaii for violating their First Amendment rights after administrator prevented them from distributing copies of the U.S. Constitution — demonstrating a frightening lack of knowledge about the very legal document they were attempting to censor.
“It’s not about your rights…”
— Ellen Kusano, director of Student Affairs
Students Merritt Burch and Anthony Vizzone, members of the Young Americans for Liberty chapter at UH-Hilo, were prevented from handing out copies of the Constitution at a recruitment event in January. A week later, they were again informed by a censorship-minded administrator that their First Amendment-protected activities were in violation of school policy.
The students were told that they could only distribute literature from within UH-Hilo’s “free speech zone,” a small, muddy, frequently-flooded area on the edge of campus.
Administrators further clarified their level of respect for students’ free speech rights, making comments like, “This isn’t really the ’60s anymore,” and “people can’t really protest like that anymore,” according to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.
The First Amendment has not been modified since the 1960s, however, and robustly protects the rights of students at public universities to hold non-disruptive protests, speak their mind and distribute literature. Read the rest of this entry »
Free Speech Smack-Down Victory: California College Student Teaches School $50,000 Lesson on ConstitutionPosted: February 25, 2014
“What are the rules? Why are the rules tied to my free speech?”
— Student Robert Van Tuinen
“… if you’re going to start an organization like that you have to go through the rigamarole.”
— Campus Police Officer
It’s impossible to watch this video without getting mad. It’s a priceless document, capturing the most offensive and absurd violation of free speech perhaps ever recorded on the campus of a public University. The bureaucratic run-around given to this student by a Campus Law Enforcement Official, and an unidentified University official, is spectacularly, breathtakingly stupid. It’s heartbreaking to listen to their justifications, false objections, and rationalizations. More common than you might think. Blatantly illegal. Is this America? Welcome to modern Academia. Watch the whole thing:
Do these public servants realize they’re exposing the University to a lawsuit? This footage could be preserved as a training video for University staff members. Explicitly demonstrating how to violate a student’s constitutional rights. They couldn’t have performed a more perfectly-worded constitutional rights violation if they had a script written for them by a KGB public relations expert. Example, telling the student that there’s a ‘designated place..”
“…in front of the student center, in that little cement area,” where free expression is allowed…”
— University official
Here’s the legal victory story from Fox News:
A California college student who was blocked last year from handing out copies of the Constitution gave his school a lesson in civics and the law, winning a $50,000 settlement and an agreement to revise its speech codes.
Robert Van Tuinen, 26, settled with Modesto Junior College just five months after his run-in with school officials on Sept. 17 – National Constitution Day. Van Tuinen said he’s more excited about getting the school to revise its speech codes, which previously confined the First Amendment to a small area students had to sign up to use.
Robby Soave reports: More troubling details have emerged in the case of a libertarian student club’s lawsuit against against the University of Michigan: Not only did UM administrators refuse to give the group funding for an anti-affirmative action event, but they also gave liberal students funding for a pro-affirmative action event just days before.
UM collects mandatory fees from students in order to distribute money to student groups for events and speaker fees–about $300,000 each year. However, administrators claim to have a blanket policy against using the money for political or religious events. On this basis, they denied the Young Americans for Liberty its request for $1,000 to cover the cost of bringing anti-affirmative action activist Jennifer Gratz to campus.
The Daily Caller previously reported on YAL’s lawsuit, which claims that the university provided funds to other political and even religious groups as recently as 2010.
Derek Khanna writes: As of 2003, consumers have had the right to change providers while keeping their wireless number. Since 2007, consumers have also had the right to “unlock” their wireless device. But the Librarian of Congress recently made a bureaucratic ruling eliminating consumers’ right to use their own device after their contract expires.
Unlocking is a simple technique where a patch is installed on the phone. Essentially, it lets a phone be used on a different phone carrier. This technology, while lawful in other countries and acknowledged by market experts as beneficial, is now illegal for Americans. This ruling hurts consumers, hinders competition, and stifles innovation and makes millions of average Americans felons punishable by 5 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.
Overall, it’s a classic example of crony-capitalism, where a few market dominant companies, each with significant lobbying assets (two of which are in top 10 in lobbying dollars in D.C.), succeeded in changing the “law” for their own pecuniary benefit, thereby creating higher barriers to entry for their competitors.
Duke Cheston writes: Much of the recent growth in libertarian activism emerged after Ron Paul’s 2008 failed presidential bid, when Jeff Frazee, Paul’s national youth coordinator, founded Young Americans for Liberty (YAL). Aided in part by the right-of-center activist training group the Leadership Institute and its team of field representatives, YAL now boasts chapters on over 380 campuses and a membership of some 125,000 students. Another libertarian group, Students for Liberty, has since seen exponential growth since its founding in 2008. At the end of 2008, there were 42 campus groups in the SFL network. By 2013, SFL claimed an affiliation with 930 groups worldwide: 767 in the U.S., over 100 in Europe, and a few dozen in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
David Deerson, who was the president of UNC-Chapel Hill‘s YAL chapter until he graduated in May, says that his personal story is a “microcosm” of the growth of the liberty movement on campus. When he arrived at UNC as a freshman, he sought out the student libertarian group. There were only about four people regularly attending the weekly meetings, and they didn’t do much in terms of activism. But by the time Deerson graduated, roughly 25 people attended weekly meetings, and the group–now a chapter of YAL–was winning awards for its activism.
Deerson credited the growth of the club to the training he received from Students for Liberty and to changing attitudes among students. A handful of studies lend credence to this view. A 2011 study by UCLA scientists found incoming students to have more liberal views, but only on social issues, meaning that there are more students who identify as fiscally conservative and socially liberal–in effect, libertarian. A 2012 survey by the Panetta Institute found that 30 percent of college students have libertarian beliefs. Indeed, the present time seems to be a “libertarian moment” for the entire country, as statistician Nate Silver has suggested.