For their unyielding determination to overcome administrative roadblocks and for their persistent activism in the face of adversity, The Ohio State University Young Americans for Freedom (OSU YAF) has been named Chapter of the Month for November.
On November 13, OSU YAF gave students at Ohio State the opportunity to hear from the #1 requested campus speaker in the country, Ben Shapiro. Shapiro addressed a crowd of more than 800 students who filled the lecture venue and an overflow room to capacity, with hundreds more being turned away due to fire code. In the midst of working to bring Shapiro to campus, OSU YAF was asked to testify before the Ohio state legislature as they worked to protect free speech rights for students at schools across the state.
This came after OSU YAF underwent a four-month struggle with university officials to secure the same rights provided to other student organizations. From the beginning, OSU YAF faced opposition over their plans to host Ben Shapiro. Neither the student government nor the university administration were willing to accommodate the conservative students in their effort to introduce conservative ideas to their peers. Though it is one of the largest universities in America, OSU initially denied the YAF chapter’s request for any venue larger than a classroom, taking several months to provide a 500-person venue and an overflow room.
The trouble securing a venue was followed by a funding denial from the student government on the grounds that OSU YAF’s event would include “partisan political activities,” despite the fact that Young America’s Foundation and our Young Americans for Freedom chapters are prohibited from engaging in any political or electioneering activity. Fortunately, after Young America’s Foundation exposed the student government’s absurd decision, the denial was withdrawn and the chapter received $2,000, the maximum annual funding amount. “Even if it seems like nothing is working in your favor and your school is obstructing your every action,” OSU YAF Chairman Elle Lamb emphasized, “the Conservative Movement is always something worth fighting for!”
On the evening of Shapiro’s lecture, the Columbus Against Racism Action Group, an Antifa-affiliated organization, stormed the student union lobby, just outside the hall where Shapiro was speaking. Chanting for abortion on demand, and shouting expletives along with “Reagan’s dead” and “John McCain is dead,” the leftist group attempted to block attendees from entering the venue. The YAF chapter was undeterred and helped the audience navigate their way around the intolerant leftists to fill all the rooms. This bold stand for conservative ideas caused OSU students to take note, with many expressing their support for the YAF chapter. One student admitted, “Those protests are ridiculous and we’re glad you are doing this.”
The Ohio State University Young Americans for Freedom persevered against attempts by university officials and radical leftists to gain statewide recognition for their efforts and to host an electrifying event that reached students across their campus. For this reason, we congratulate OSU YAF on being selected as November Chapter of the Month.
The following members of OSU YAF were also instrumental in the chapter’s success: