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The deadline to apply to SFL’s Summer Internship Program is Wednesday, April 1! We are currently in the process of reviewing and interviewing applicants, so be sure to get your application in soon.

CC intern 2We are seeking competent and motivated individuals for full-time summer internships in our DC office. SFL has been growing rapidly since its inception, and students who join our internship program will have the opportunity to work in an innovative and team-driven environment. SFL interns will be given a large degree of autonomy and support, allowing them to achieve meaningful professional growth.

 

Interested in becoming an intern in SFL’s DC office this summer? Participants will:

  • Receive a $2,000 stipend
  • Be awarded a scholarship to FreedomFest in Las Vegas that will cover registration, a room at the Planet Hollywood, and a $100 travel stipend
  • Ongoing professional training sessions with SFL staff and other movement leaders

If this sounds good to you, I hope to see you apply! You can learn more about the available positions and submit an application here.

The following was written by Senior Campus Coordinator Angel Lauver from The University of Florida.

Angel 1When I was in high school, I was one of only 2 or 3 libertarians at my school. Like many of you probably have, I accepted that I was part of a very small group of people, and I never bothered pursuing libertarianism any further. But when I started college, I was shocked and excited to find there was a libertarian club on campus. Immediately I wanted to get involved as much as possible. I wanted to learn more, I wanted to read more, and I wanted to fight for freedom.
Serendipitously, the group I joined at my school was closely tied to Students For Liberty. Even more fortunately for me, the friends I made in the group were Campus Coordinators with SFL, and they encouraged me to apply to the Campus Coordinator Program. So there I was, my freshman year, accepted to a program that would unknowingly change my life. SFL gave me high quality leadership and professional training. I learned the best ways to spread the ideas of liberty, how to run a successful event, how to speak to donors, and so much more. I even learned professional details which are often overlooked such as where to wear a name tag and how to confidently give someone your business card. I have had the opportunity to host leadership forums, run the Florida regional conference, and meet dozens of students from across the world who are dedicated to liberty.

Being part of Students For Liberty is more than just a way to get leadership training or Angel 2resources for your club. Being part of SFL means becoming part of a family and a support system. No matter where you are in the world, there will be a SFLer there with open arms. As a CC I have learned how to be a professional leader but I have also learned how to be a part of a community. I went from never having considered going into the liberty movement to wanting to dedicate my career to fighting for liberty. I’ve been with SFL for two years now and I’ve never looked back. I can’t wait to continue on with SFL next year.

If you’re interested in joining SFL’s Campus Coordinator Program, learn more about it and apply here! You can also tune into the informational webinar taking place this Thursday, March 26 at 8:00 PM EST.

It is not very often that you get to hear an exiled government whistleblower talk about his experiences and personal opinions. In case you missed it, Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald, and Laura Poitras recently gave a Q & A on Reddit’s /IAmA that everyone should check out, as it is one of the only opportunities to get to hear Snowden’s own views on topics ranging from the NSA leaks to the pros of living in Russia (unless you were at the 2015 ISFLC). In the thread, one of Snowden’s replies in particular lingered with me:

To tag on to the Putin question: There’s not, and that’s part of the problem worldwide. We can’t just reform the laws in one country, wipe our hands, and call it a day. We have to ensure that our rights aren’t just being protected by letters on a sheet of paper somewhere, or those protections will evaporate the minute our communications get routed across a border. The only way to ensure the human rights of citizens around the world are being respected in the digital realm is to enforce them through systems and standards rather than policies and procedures.

Considered ancient by most media standards, the National Security Agency and their systemic abuse of privacy remains a pressing and continuous issue. Despite the lack of coverage, countless organizations and individuals are still pushing for privacy reforms, and Snowden’s comment touches on an issue that seems to be under-emphasized. While policy changes and enforcement are critical and necessary to make progress towards better privacy protection, creating a broad coalition and using personal privacy protection are required to create real and sustainable privacy protection.

Government spying and privacy violations have seemingly fallen to the back burner for many activists and average citizens. Both Congress and President Obama feigned concern over the massive violation of Cloud-Data-Protect-LargeAmerican’s privacy, but have done absolutely nothing to stop it.  Activists should expect any reforms that come to fruition to preserve the government’s current powers and operations while simultaneously saving face. Snowden is correct in saying that, if we really want to protect our privacy, it needs to become a global issue for everyone, and citizens must take it upon themselves to protect their privacy with whatever means possible. Anything short of this, and privacy protection is guaranteed only by “a sheet of paper somewhere,” doomed to “evaporate the minute our communications get routed across a border.” (more…)

unnamed (2)There are two things you should know about me before reading this article: my heritage and my living situation. I am Canadian. However, I have lived in Lyon, France for the past three months and will continue to do so for the next four. For anyone who reads my blogs, these two themes have been recurring ones, and have each contributed to how I view liberty. Living in France, a country well-known for its current (and long-standing) socialist tendencies, and experiencing everyday life here in comparison to  a much more conservative/liberty-minded Canada, has really messed with my view on liberty and how this term can mean something so different in various countries. When I think of liberty in France, is it really liberty? Is there a right and wrong definition of liberty? Are there actually cases where certain types of liberties don’t make sense in a libertarian context? The following may just be a philosophical rambling on my part, but I would like to share my thoughts on how different the meaning of liberty can be when subjected to differing conventions, cultures, and countries.

One of the first things an expat learns about France is that French people don’t really like to work. Allow me to elaborate: during every work day of the week, there is a 1-2 hour lunch break from around 12:30-2:30, in which time nothing remains open. Or at least, nothing on the business end of things. Need to go to the library at 1:30

"Strike!"

“Strike!”

to take out a book for the literature test you forgot you had this afternoon? Nope, library’s closed. Need to print off an assignment due at 2:00? Nope, all of the printing centres are closed. Need to visit a government office to update your visa that will expire in a week? Make sure you go at 9:00 a.m., before the lines get too long, because otherwise you’re screwed. The café and restaurant owners are thrilled, naturally, because this is when they get all of their business, but the rest of the commerce shuts down. And then, of course, nothing remains open on Sundays, and only select places on Saturdays. Oh, and after having hardly worked all week, the French like to strike as much as possible for higher wages or fewer work week hours. (more…)

539121-gay-marriageIn 2013, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made headlines for offering surprising comments reflecting on the 40-year anniversary of Roe v. Wade. “That was my concern, that the court had given opponents of access to abortion a target to aim at relentlessly,” the renown liberal justice told an audience at the University of Chicago Law School. “My criticism of Roe is that it seemed to have stopped the momentum that was on the side of change.”

Quickly thereafter, pundits speculated what Ginsburg’s comments would mean for the then-forthcoming rulings on California’s Proposition 8 gay marriage ban. The New York Times Editorial Board went so far as to comment that “overblown fears of a backlash based on a false reading of politics before and after Roe v. Wade could lead the Supreme Court to shy from doing as it should — enforcing equal protection by declaring same-sex marriage a constitutionally protected right in every state.”

Of course, it’s impossible to know if such a sentiment of caution dissuaded more moderate members of the bench to rule on the constitutionality of gay marriage bans in Hollingsworth v. Perry that year. But with another marriage challenge scheduled for oral arguments next month, it’s timely to consider again what backlash (if any) a nationwide ruling extending same-sex marriage to the 13 states that currently don’t recognize it would have. Could a pro-gay ruling ultimately undermine gay rights by making martyrs of traditional marriage proponents for decades to come? In other words, could Obergefell v. Hodges  — as the upcoming case is cumbersomely named — be the Roe v. Wade of our time?

(more…)