From January 30 – February 10, Washington DC was pummeled by what has been called Snowpocalypse and Snowmaggedon. Flights were canceled from all over the country, and the entire city basically shut down. While the Federal Government closed for almost a week because of this storm, students from around the world would not let the weather keep them from advancing liberty. From February 12-14, a total of 302 liberty advocates, 248 of them students, attended the 3rd Annual International Students For Liberty Conference hosted at American University by the AU Students for Liberty! To provide some context, that is almost 3x larger than the first SFL conference we held 2 years ago (also with a blizzard threatening its ruin).
The Opening Keynote Speaker was former New Mexico Governor, Gary Johnson, whose speech entitled “A New Dream” reminded students that the problems of expansive government can no longer be tolerated. After he left the conference, Governor Johnson tweeted about his experience:
Following his speech, the 2010 SFL Awards were presented. These awards are an annual tradition to celebrate the entire student movement for liberty by highlighting some of the finest examples of students promoting liberty on their campuses. Congratulations is due to each of the 2010 SFL Award Winners:
- Student Event of the Year: Ron Paul at Wake Forest hosted by the WFU Young Americans for Liberty
- Student of the Year: Liya Palagashvili from George Mason University
- Student Group of the Year: Drexel University Student Liberty Front
These award winners represent a vibrant, diverse, and incredibly large student movement for liberty. The work that students are doing to promote liberty around the world deserves recognition, and SFL is here to help empower our fellow students. For those of you who want to know what we’re all about (and watch a student for liberty from George Washington University school Michael Moore), check out the video that opened this year’s International Conference, “Remember the Name: Students For Liberty“:
So much happened this past weekend, that can’t be summarized here, so look out for a full report on the conference that will be coming out soon. But here is a brief sampling of the many activities available for students:
- Issue-specific workshops for students to learn how to promote change on particular topics like taxes and health care
- Organizational workshops for students to learn how to effectively promote liberty on their campuses
- First public screening of 2081 since its premiere one year ago
- A Civil Liberties panel featuring representatives from Reason, FIRE, and the ACLU
- Keynote Speeches from Ed Crane, founder and President of the Cato Institute, Gary Johnson, former Governor of New Mexico, and Professor Russ Roberts from George Mason University
- And much more!
This was the largest event SFL has ever held, but it is only the start of a much larger student movement for liberty and even larger events to come! To help lead SFL in the coming school year, SFL closed the conference by welcoming the newly elected members of the 2010-2011 SFL Executive Board. You can watch the announcement here, but in the meantime, please welcome the new members of SFL’s leadership team who have already proven their abilities as leaders of liberty and will take SFL to the next level:
- Blayne Bennett, Arizona State University Network of Enlightened Women & Students For Liberty
- Ankur Chawla, University of California-San Diego Young Americans for Liberty
- Dennis Craig, George Washington University Liberty Society
- Kelly Jemison, James Madison University Madison Liberty
- Pericles Niarchos, Drexel University Student Liberty Front
- Liya Palagashvili, George Mason University Economics Society
- Mike Sertic, California State University-Sacramento Students For Liberty
- Brandon Wasicsko, Florida Gulf Coast University Eagles for Liberty
This year’s International Conference was a tremendous event that encapsulated SFL’s growth and success, and we thank everyone who participated in it. SFL’s successes are being recognized more and more, as illustrated by what Radley Balko, one of the speakers on the Civil Liberties panel, posted on his blog, The Agitator:
I’m a little more impressed by these students every time I speak to them…. These kids are smart, engaging, interested, and incredibly well-read…. It’s been encouraging and heartening to watch the organization grow.
Thank you to everyone who has made this possible and made SFL such a tremendous success! Just think of how far we will be in another 2 years.