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We are proud to announce the finalists for the 2012 Students For Liberty Awards, to be presented at the 2012 International Students For Liberty Conference. The winners will be decided by a combination of the SFL Executive Board and open public voting. You can vote once per day.

In 2009, Students For Liberty began to recognize outstanding students and student groups that have distinguished themselves in the battle for liberty on campus. That tradition has continued with the awards becoming more competitive every year as more and more students demonstrate their outstanding accomplishments for liberty.  Award recipients are chosen based on their hard work, organizational skills, value creation, innovation, and entrepreneurship.  You can find information on past winners herehere, and here.

The Finalists Are:
(Click here to learn more and submit your vote)

Student of the Year

  • Chelsea Krafve, Pepperdine University
  • Zach Wahls, University of Iowa
  • Casey Given, University of California, Berkeley
  • Stephanie Cifuentes, Florida Gulf Coast University
  • James Padilioni Jr., West Chester University

Event of the Year

  • Texas Forum for Freedom Zombie Crawl
  • Michigan State College Libertarians & MSU YAL – The Afghanistan/Iraq War Protest
  • 2011 Free Minds Film Festival: Hosted by Young Americans for Liberty- University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
  • Slippery Rock University YAL – The Free Market vs Government Intervention
  • University of Florida Libertarians –  “End 10 Years of War”

Group of the Year

  • Arizona State University Students For Liberty
  • LVSV Leuven
  • The Ohio University Students For Liberty
  • University of North Texas Young Americans for Liberty
  • The George Mason University Economics Society
Click here to learn more about each finalist and vote for the winners!

It is a pleasure to announce two new keynote speakers for the Students For Liberty Philosophical E-Seminar: Gary Chartier and Matt Zwolinski.

Dr. Gary Chartier

Gary William Chartier is an American legal scholar, philosopher, theologian, and “left-wing market anarchist.” He currently serves as Associate Professor of Law and Business Ethics and Associate Dean of the School of Business at La Sierra University in Riverside, California. His distinctive approach to market anarchism is rooted in Kevin Carson’s mutualism, the new classical natural law theory elaborated by Germain Grisez and John Finnis, the “anarcho-conservatism” of Stephen R. L. Clark, the New Left-influenced left-libertarian decentralism of Karl Hess, and the socialism and individualist anarchism of Benjamin Tucker.

Among his works are:
The Conscience of an Anarchist. Apple Valley, CA: Cobden 2011.
Economic Justice and Natural Law. Cambridge: CUP 2009.

Dr. Matt Zwolinski

Matt Zwolinski specializes in Political Philosophy and Normative Ethics. He is a co-director of USD’s Institute for Law and Philosophy, and serves on the editorial board of Business Ethics Quarterly. He regularly teaches courses in ethics, business ethics, political philosophy, and the philosophy of law. His areas of research expertise are political philosophy and normative ethics, with a special focus on the intersection of ethics, law, and economics.

Zwolinski’s research deals with the intersection of ethics, law, and economics, with two specific areas of focus. The first involves the proper understanding and normative status of liberty and political libertarianism. The second is the phenomenon of exploitation and its implications for individual ethics and political institutions.

Among his works are:
Arguing About Political Philosophy (Routledge, 2009)

Every year, young people across America are subjected to inflated prices on bad candy, exposed to tacky red heart decorations, and pressured to partner up all in the name of “love.” This Valentine’s Day we recommend trying something different, like participating in a national event to end crony capitalism! February 14, 2012 is National Crony Capitalism Day on college campuses across the country. This national campaign, organized by Crony Capitalism is Phony Capitalism, will expose the love between big business and big government to college students. If you would like to join in this events, tabling kits are provided free of charge, for your student group. The kit contains:

  • 1 tabling banner (2′ by 6′) – to draw attention to the event
  • 1 event execution information sheet
  • 1 sample press release
  • 100 stickers with the attached image
  • 100 Valentines – with a cronyism definition on one side and illustration on the opposite side
  • 120 Dum Dum lollipops – to be attached to the Valentines (for a candy gram effect)

To request your free kit, simply fill out this super short survey. If you sign up for this event it is scheduled to take place on Valentine’s Day (Tuesday, February 14). However, we understand that each campus is different. If necessary, you may hold the event on Monday, February 13 or Wednesday, February 15. Check out the Facebook page for more info on the project. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Molly Fratianne  by email at mollyfratz@gmail.com.

Every year, there are great opportunities for libertarian students to meet like-minded people, discuss interesting topics, learn a lot, and simply have a blast! There are literally hundreds of conferences, seminars, and lectures in Europe and the United States for students to enjoy that can be checked out on SFL’s website.

I’d like to point out a convenient way for international students to attend some of these events in the United States. It is obviously quite expensive to fly to the States for only one libertarian gathering. Fortunately, there is the option to attend several events within a short period. Most libertarian seminars and conferences take place between June and early September. I strongly encourage every interested international student to apply for several events so as to get the most value out of the high travel expenses.

Indeed, I speak from personal experience. Last summer, I attended the Institute for Humane Studies’ “Liberty & Society” seminar, the Ludwig von Mises Institute’s Mises University, and the Foundation for Economic Education’s Advanced Austrian Economics Seminar all within three weeks. Apart from travel costs, I did not have to pay anything for all three of these great seminars. Good food, accommodation, and educational materials are provided for free at these and many other events, saving you a lot of money to spend on travel.

You cannot imagine the quality of the people, the passion, the variety of topics, and the different characters that are involved with these events. Each event was unique and challenging, but in every aspect rewarding. It takes a bit of effort to coordinate different seminars in different regions of the US into your schedule, but it is totally manageable.

Lastly, I’d like to provide you with a secret to make scheduling these seminars even easier. The application questions from different institutions are often quite similar. This means that you do not have to begin each application from scratch, but don’t be too lazy! Remember, you want to be accepted to attend each seminar, so put some effort into every application. It is well worth it.

I learned an incredible amount within those three weeks last summer, and I still use the notes I made and collected at these events for classes and research.  I am still in touch with quite a few participants, and a couple of them have even become good friends of mine. Indeed, I even work with some of them now at Students For Liberty!

Of course, my combination is just one of the many seminar itineraries international students can create. You can combine as many events as you wish! Take a look at the different options out there and pick your preferred combination.

Check it out, apply, and take the chance. You will not regret it. If you have any questions, please feel always free to contact me at wvonlaer@studentsforliberty.org.

The Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism is happy to announce its sixth annual Summer Conference for students, titled “Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and the Moral Foundations of Capitalism.” They’re accepting applications now. The conference will feature an in-depth analysis of Rand’s magnum opus and explore the following questions:

  • What is the moral basis for a free market?
  • How do individual rights function in a capitalist society?
  • What does the history of capitalism teach us about its moral basis?
  • How is Ayn Rand’s view of capitalism unique?

The conference features lectures by Craig Biddle, Eric Daniels, Richard Ebeling, and Andrew Bernstein as well as special guest to be announced soon.

The conference will take place on the Clemson University campus from May 24 – 28th. Scholarships are available to qualified undergraduate and graduate students, including housing, meals, and a travel stipend. For more information and to apply, visit the 2012 conference website. Testimony from conference alumni, video highlights, and an FAQ are also available.

The deadline to apply is March 1, 2012.