This spring, University of Michigan Young Americans for Freedom hosted Ben Shapiro, and developed displays advocating for strong border security and protection of the unborn. During their pro-life activism initiatives, radicals vandalized their display and ripped up pink crosses that represented the lives taken by abortion. Thanks to the close watch of UM YAF and the work of university police, the vandals were removed and further destruction of the display was prevented.

In addition to their strong on-campus presence, UM YAF’s event featuring Ben Shapiro—through YAF’s Fred Allen Lecture Series—had the greatest impact on campus during the spring semester. When asked “Why Shapiro?,” UM YAF Chair Jacob Chludzinski answered that they wanted to provide their peers with the opportunity to hear and articulation of conservative ideas where they’re not often accepted. “Our campus has also experienced too many anti-Semitic events in the past few years,” Chludzinski added. “We wanted those who spread anti-Semitic hate—as well as those who have been victims of anti-Semitism—to know there are many students who support Judeo-Christian values at the University of Michigan.”

UM YAF’s event with Shapiro was attended by nearly 1,200 individuals who filled the lecture hall to capacity while more than 6,000 individuals signed onto a waitlist for a chance to hear Shapiro in person. In addition, Shapiro’s lecture has been viewed more than 250,000 times online since.

The following members of UM YAF were instrumental in the chapter’s success:

-Kate Westa

-Lincoln Ballew

-Scott Strickland

-Alex Bascom

-Talia Katz

-Sarah Riedel

-Jasper Scheiber

-Zach Fritz

-Jacob Viviano