Young America’s Foundation is proud to announce that the Young Americans for Freedom Board of Governors has selected University of Wisconsin-Madison Young Americans for Freedom (UW YAF) as the 2018 Chapter of the Year. To recognize them for their leadership on campus and their actions to boldly promote conservatism, Young America’s Foundation is proud to award UW YAF a $10,000 grant to bring a speaker to their school in the upcoming school year.
UW YAF dominated their campus this year and their activism took the national media by storm. Through four speaker events and numerous campus initiatives, UW YAF, led by Chairman Abby Streu, has distinguished itself as the most accomplished chapter in the nation for the second year in a row.
To make this possible, UW YAF bolstered its marketing efforts to ensure every student on campus was familiar with YAF and its mission. The chapter also established an aggressive action plan with the goal of reaching more students than ever before. Among other action items, UW YAF made a point to table at least once every month in the most prominent areas on campus and hosted social events to introduce students to the chapter’s members. This kept the University of Wisconsin community informed and aware of the YAF chapter’s activities as they expanded their influence on campus.
Effective campus activism requires diligence and determination. It requires courage in the face of adversity and a willingness to stand for what is right. Through their efforts, UW YAF was able to reach a broad audience at the University of Wisconsin from administrators to students. UW YAF has remained the most effective and influential student organization at their school and serves as a model for other activists in the Conservative Movement.
In October, UW YAF held their campuses first major event featuring New York Times bestselling author and Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich. Pavlich’s lecture focused on the necessity of the Second Amendment, how it relates to self-defense, and how it empowers women. Campus leftists, however, disapproved of the empowering message because of the speaker’s conservative views. Profane protestors operating under the banner of the “Cocks Not Glocks” organization planned an absurd protest in an attempt to prevent UW YAF from having a successful event. As happens far too often, the leftist threat of disruption caused the university to try blocking the public from hearing Pavlich’s lecture. Despite these roadblocks, the UW YAF remained steadfast in their activism, gaining national media attention from outlets including Forbes and The Federalist. The event brought Pavlich’s articulate defense of the Second Amendment to a sold-out crowd, challenging the anti-gun conversation on campus and exposing the misogynistic character of the Left.
The following semester, UW YAF continued their run of hosting the most popular lecture events on campus by bringing syndicated radio host Dennis Prager to speak. Though leftists once again protested the event in a feeble attempt to shame anyone interested in hearing a new perspective, the YAF chapter successfully packed a 300-person room with a standing room only audience.
UW YAF also organized lectures with former National Rifle Association (NRA) president David Keene, who was the founding chairman of UW YAF in the 1960’s. Keene shared stories of his time as a YAF activist on campus during violent anti-Vietnam protests where the Left employed militant opposition to freedom’s principles. Another event featured one of the University of Wisconsin’s economics professors, Dr. Noah Williams, to address President Trump’s tax cuts and job creation strategy.
In addition to these breakthrough campus lectures, UW YAF carried out Young America’s Foundation’s iconic activism initiatives. One of these events included Freedom Week, where YAF activists built and then tore down a mock Berlin Wall to celebrate the anniversary of the fall of the Iron Curtain, as well as events to educate their peers on the evils wrought by big government and to celebrate Veterans Day. The chapter also participated in YAF’s GPA Redistribution video competition to show students how flawed policies based on redistribution are in practice.
The chapter also organized a free-speech panel featuring perspectives from both conservatives and leftists where the YAF chapter was able to show participants the importance of intellectual diversity and expose problems that arise when administrators try to limit thought. In a twist to YAF’s annual March Liberal Madness competition, the YAF chapter also courageously called out their student government’s radical policies. Last, to combat the anti-gun sentiment held by their leftist peers, the UW YAF chapter organized trips to the shooting range for members to take firearms safety courses and exercise their Secondary Amendment freedoms.
The accomplishments of Young Americans for Freedom chapters do not end here though. YAF chapters nationwide excelled in promoting conservative ideas and empowering conservative students to stand up for their beliefs. While other student organization simply engage in photo-op activism, Young Americans for Freedom set a high bar for what it means to be a campus activist, always working toward a clear understanding of conservatism and freedom’s principles.
Young Americas Foundation is proud to provide Young Americans for Freedom chapters at high schools and colleges across the country the necessary training, knowledge, and resources to outpace leftists. We are honored to support these bold activists in their vital endeavors.