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hancockWe tend to think of them as a monolithic force. “The Founding Fathers” we say, “would have wanted this.” We say that “they” would have been opposed to that. With fire in our eyes, we declare that “they” must be rolling over in their graves.

In the United States, we speak of them so often that it has become a sort of shorthand for a particular worldview. One might call it American conservatism, or conversely, classical liberalism. One could call it libertarian, or republican, or democratic. Like so many terms in the modern political discourse – thought police, social justice, neoliberalism, even capitalism ‒ we use the Founding Fathers to signify many different things depending on our aim. All at once, the phrase means everything and nothing. This imprecision of language, whether applied to this or other terms, is understandable. It’s easier to use buzz words that evoke “the kind of thing we’re getting at” than to state precisely the political or philosophical argument we’re trying to make. (more…)


Some call it fall semester, others may know it as football season, but there’s another name for autumn among student libertarians – SFL Regional Conference season!

Regional Conferences are one-day events held on Saturday and are free to attend. They feature educational speakers, activism panels, and workshops all geared toward enhancing the ideas of liberty. The excitement and momentum of a Regional Conference is hard to believe before you experience one.

Last year, SFL hosted 21 Regional Conferences across North America, and this year we’re slated to surpass our previous number yet again! Today, we’re pleased to announce the first 17. Click below to find the Regional Conference nearest you.

Find Your Conference

On Friday, members of Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) marched from the State Department to the White House and then to the Supreme Court to call attention to a global advocacy campaign called “Support. Don’t Punish.”  The campaign seeks to bring awareness to the failures of the War on Drugs and human rights violations inflicted by various drug policies.

According to a report from Harm Reduction International, thirty-three countries or territories worldwide have the death penalty for drug offenses.  The report points out that, while the number executed per year is likely over a thousand, an estimation is difficult to arrive at since several countries keep their death penalty records secret.photo-3

“The purpose of Support. Don’t Punish. is to not only spread global awareness about the failures of drug criminalization, but to demand that world leaders place human rights at the forefront of any conversation around global drug trafficking,” says SSDP Outreach Coordinator Jake Agliata.  “Executing people for nonviolent drug offenses should not be considered acceptable.  The United States has an opportunity to start shifting the dialogue by joining a growing list of countries around the world who are calling for an end to this archaic practice.”

Support. Don’t Punish. organized events in over 140 countries for their third annual Global Day of Action.  Elsewhere in the United States, the Harm Reduction Coalition organized a flash mob in front of the UN Headquarters in New York City.  The San Francisco Drug Users’ Union also held an event in their city, as did SSDP in Denver. (more…)

2010-07-13-881780380How do you contribute to SFL in your new job role?
As the new Director of Alumni For Liberty, I’ll be connecting new college graduates to the professional opportunities AFL has to offer as well as re-connecting our experienced alumni with our programs. My hope is that we’ll build a robust network of alumni who will support student opportunities as well as continued advocacy for liberty.

How did you first get interested in liberty?
I grew up in a strong conservative, Republican household, started working in Republican politics when I was 12-years-old, and had a love for free enterprise, but not necessarily for social freedom. When I got to college at Campbell University, I was introduced to a number of libertarian professors and faculty who helped me understand the importance of a consistent philosophy of liberty across both economics and social matters. From that, I was involved with the Adam Smith Society and supported their activities after I graduated. I later had the opportunity to experience these ideas first-hand by starting a company and feeling the direct impact of regulation. After we sold the company, I became a college professor for seven years teaching economics, which helped solidify my libertarian thinking and how to communicate liberty to students and other individuals.

Who do you think is the most underrated libertarian thinker?
Three contemporary thinkers come to my mind: Michael Munger at Duke University, Paul Cwik at University of Mount Olive, and Derek Yonai at Florida Southern College.  These professors have helped me the most to understand and articulate libertarian ideas.

On a non-liberty note, what do you like to do in your free time?
I am politically active. I love bar trivia, karaoke, and love mowing grass on my John Deere tractor.


Every year, SFL makes a point to keep ISFLC fresh by introducing new speakers, events, and programs to the conference. Today, we’re pleased to announce the first new element of ISFLC16: the Referral Rewards Program.

SFL will reward North American attendees for referring their friends to ISFLC. Every attendee will receive a unique referral code via email upon completing registration. Share yours on social media, you’ll receive a $5 refund off the cost of your registration for every friend who uses your code to register. If you are successful enough to receive a full refund, you will subsequently receive $5 credit to SFLiberty Outfitters — SFL’s online store — for every additional registrant who uses your code. That’s right, you wipe off the cost of your registration and receive free liberty gear for promoting ISFLC. So, register today and share your code before someone else beats you to it!

Please note that this offer is only valid for North American attendees and will only count for paid registrations. For any questions about the rules of the contest, please contact Director of Organizational Measurement Kyle Hartz at khartz@studentsforliberty.org.

Register for #ISFLC16