By Patrick X. Coyle, Executive Director of Young Americans for Freedom
One year ago on May 17, Young America's Foundation and Young Americans for Freedom united to became one organization.
Since then, YAF chapters have been forming across the country on college and high school campuses, and they have been provided with resources, activism guides, brochures, and funding to effectively advance conservatism on campus. YAF is the answer for students looking for a vehicle to champion timeless conservative ideas to broad audiences of young people.
YAF leaders have fought back against efforts by their schools to block their activism. Isabella Foxen courageously worked to start a YAF chapter at La Reina High School despite actions by administrators. Grant Strobl, YAF chair at Grosse Pointe North simply wanted to post fliers on the treatment by the media of conservative women. His principal said no, but that didn't stop Grant. With the help of the national office, the media was alerted and a number of high profile sites picked up on the story.
YAF chapters took on key issues on campus. Stony Brook YAF started a petition to reverse the school's plan to not recognize all Christian and Jewish holidays. Rachael Doukas, the chairman of the YAF chapter, said, "Long Island's history and culture is largely Judeo-Christian with a recognition of their various traditions and celebrations. Stony Brook is representative of this general demographic trend and it simply would be unfair to the students to have such a change to their long standing holiday traditions. In removing these holidays, now Stony Brook students have to choose between their religion and education, and students who are observant will be put at a disadvantage."
UCLA YAF co-sponsored a presentation by two Israel Defense Force soldiers to provide a two-sided dialogue on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Minutes into the soldiers presentations, the Students for Justice in Palestine members stood up in unison and walked out, despite the speakers pleading with them to stay and engage in dialogue. One of the speakers even said, “we’d also like to take your questions,” as the SJP students began to walk out. Clearly, this group didn’t like the idea of an open discussion. Watch the video to see for yourself.
YAF chapters across the country participated in many campus initiatives found in the Campus Conservative Battleplan including the 9/11: Never Forget Project, No More Che Day, and Freedom Week.
YAF chapters at Marquette, The George Washington University, Columbia University, Principia College, University of Colorado, and Penn State introduced thousands of students to conservatism by hosting prominent conservatives including John Stossel, Ann Coulter, Karl Rove, Herman Cain, Star Parker, Jason Mattera and others.
Finally, many YAF members received discounts to attend Foundation conferences around the country where they heard from leading conservative authors, tacticians, and leaders. YAFers visited President Reagan's beloved ranch, Rancho del Cielo, on numerous occasions.
This year we are working on more breakthrough resources for YAF chapters including a short film! More details will be announced in the coming weeks.
You can have the same success! If you want to promote conservatism, we will help you to quickly establish your club in no time. Sign up here or contact YAF Executive Director Patrick Coyle to get started.