Despite schools around America remaining largely locked down, students involved with Young Americans for Freedom remain active and dedicated to advancing conservative ideas. While many students view the lockdowns as an impasse, barring them from organizing within their clubs and interacting with new students, YAF chapters have developed new ways of reaching their peers. This semester alone, YAF chapters organized over 300 events nationwide including the 9/11: Never Forget Project, Freedom Week, No More Che Day, pro-Amy Coney Barrett events, and other programs to combat anti-free speech sentiment. Some chapters, however, have excelled in their community organizing, leading the Young Americans for Freedom Board of Governors to designate two chapters this month as Chapters of Distinction: Grove City College YAF and Marquette University YAF.

In October, Grove City College (GCC) YAF, led by chairman RJ Debo, proved their ability to persist and motivate others by organizing the largest conservative speaker event on campus this school year. GCC YAF had previously been scheduled to host the Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh last spring but had to cancel and reschedule their event due to shut downs. They worked through the summer and beginning of the fall semester with the Grove City College administrators to develop a plan that would allow students to interact with an on-campus live speaker event while following COVID safety protocols. During this time, leftist students tried to keep the conservative activists from having a successful event by vandalizing their advertisements. GCC YAF continued to promote their speaker event, nonetheless, with more flyers and classroom announcements. On October 8, Matt Walsh had nearly 300 students participating in his lecture with both the main lecture hall and the overflow room reaching capacity– in addition to dozens of watch parties being held around campus. The event rallied students to YAF’s cause. “You could say there was a lot of excitement surrounding YAF,” RJ described, “I had many students giving me their school emails so they could get involved with GCC YAF. There were many other people asking, ‘Who will you bring next?!’”

At Marquette University, the YAF chapter, led by chapter chairman Miranda Spindt, also worked diligently to ensure conservative ideas were still being heard on campus. “We knew we wanted to do something big to show that young conservatives want our voices heard,” explained Miranda. Marquette YAF also hosted a capacity-reaching speaker event featuring American Enterprise Institute Resident Scholar Christina Hoff Sommers. Additionally, as part of YAF’s nationwide effort to showcase young peoples’ support for then-SCOTUS nominee Amy Cony Barett, Marquette YAF organized a letter campaign and a student march stretching from the campus, located conveniently in downtown Milwaukee, past Senator Tammy Baldwin’s office, to the federal courthouse near Senator Ron Johnson’s office.

Leftist ideas and values are being advanced in classrooms and in America’s pop culture, so it’s imperative for young conservatives to be persistent and creative, never letting COVID shutdowns keep them from leading the charge in their communities to advance America’s founding principles. For their diligent work, National YAF congratulates our YAF chapters at Grove City College and Marquette University.

The following members of these chapters were instrumental in the chapters’ successes:

Grove City College YAF

William Rosenberger

Mark Grasinger

Josiah Montgomery

Peter VanEerden

Jacob Dybas

Maya Lindberg

James Parenti

Marquette University YAF

Sarah Taylor

Tony Zhao

Matthew Flannagan

Kalli Noll

Justin Sherman

Steve Beugnet