One of the highlights of the International Students For Liberty Conference is the Annual Awards Presentation. This year, SFL will present awards for Student of the Year, Event of the Year, and Student Group of the Year. The awards will be presented at the International Conference on Friday, February 18th.
The winners will be chosen by a combination of the SFL Executive Board as well as open voting by the public! Each person can vote once per day up through Monday, February 14th at 11:59PM ET.
Cast your vote now at this link: www.surveymonkey.com/2011sflawards
Today we take a closer look at the nominees for Group of the Year. In alphabetical order, the 2011 nominees!
Group of the Year Finalists
Dalhousie Liberty Society – The Dalhousie Liberty Society is promoting liberty on a new frontier in Halifax, Canada. Founding members of the Dalhousie Liberty Society were tired of trying to make subtle changes through partisan Conservative groups. They chose to start the Dalhousie Liberty Society to change the discourse on campus to one that included pro-liberty values along with the traditional socialist elite that dominated student politics. Targeting campus media, the system of society financing and the directions of the Dal Student Union, the Dal Liberty Society has been active in teaching students what it means to support liberty as well as its implications for student politics and beyond.
They launched the group this fall with Student Freedom Week, featuring tabling with Operation Politically Homeless and speaker events. Later in the year they screened Indoctrinate U and organized “Suck my Liberty”, a presentation/discussion on sexual freedom, prostitution, emancipation, and gay rights. They also launched public campaigns against their school’s food service monopoly and school funding for the Nova Scotia Public Interest Research Group. On December 8th the DLS hosted a vigil for the lives lost under the tyrannical USSR regime, which ended on December 8, 1991.
East Carolina University Young Americans for Liberty – The ECU YAL stands out as a student group for being proactive in recruiting new members, raising awareness of liberty on campus, and hosting events. They work to promote liberty on their campus and wherever else they can.
On their campus they organized many educational events, such as a “Stop Spending our Futures” water bottle giveaway, a Fall of the Berlin Wall Day, an Education Drive featuring Dr. Beitler, Operation Politically Homeless tabling, a Constitution Day event, organized a marijuana march, hosted a V for Vendetta screening on Halloween, a nature trip to discuss environmentalism vs. property rights, and a GLBTSU Vigil emphasizing that gay rights are individual rights. Not just content to fight for liberty on their campus, they also helped out their fellow students at North Carolina State. When the NC State YAL group needed help gathering signatures to bring Ron Paul to campus, 3 ECU YAL leaders drove to Raleigh to help complete the drive and made it a success.
George Mason University Economics Society - The GMU Econ Society specializes in reaching out to students who are not already in the liberty movement by providing academic events for both advanced students and introductory students new to the ideas. They also provide students with opportunities to build their careers in liberty through career building weeks, internship information nights, and resume building workshops.
Some of their events include: a Health Care Debate with Bryan Caplan and David Balan from the FTC that drew in over 230 people, distributing The Economics of Freedom to incoming freshmen, co-hosting an event with the Atlas Foundation featuring Ian Vasquez from the Cato Institute on the economic transformation of Chile, hosting Dan Mitchell from the Cato Institute on tax competition, organizing an event on the Haitian earthquake disaster, designing and selling over 70 free market t-shirts, and far too many others to list. Their co-hosted speaker series with the Future of Freedom Foundation featured Larry White, Sheldon Richman, Richard Ebeling, Don Boudreaux, and Jeffrey Miron.
George Washington University Liberty Society - In just a year and a half, GW Liberty Society has become one of the, if not the most, active groups on GW’s campus. Not only has Liberty Society grown at an exponential rate, hosted dozens of events, and introduced the GW student body to the ideas of liberty, but they’ve also provided substantial support to other liberty-oriented student groups and think tanks alike.
In the past year they have hosted an incredibly diverse list of events: The Weiße Rose : the Freedom of Expression, Your Marriage and the State, Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad: Islam and the Free Market, Steve Davies: The History of the War on Drugs from 1906 to the Present, Tyler Cowen: Create Your Own Economy, Transform Americas: Chile as a Model for Economic Development, Misconceived Monuments Tour, Frederik Roeder: The European Student Liberty Movement, Nigel Ashford: Human Rights and the U.N., and Tom Bowden: It’s My Property – Or Is It?.
Liberty Society members also make an effort to attend the events of other pro-liberty student groups in the DC area, and several Liberty Society members have become interns and/or employees at pro-liberty non-profits and think-tanks. In the short time of the organization’s existence, it has developed procedures and a culture that will ensure the longevity of the organization for years to come.
University of California Berkeley Students for Liberty – The Cal Berkeley SfL thrives on one of the most statist campuses in the country. They table on campus four days a week to recruit new members and hold weekly meetings for discussion of various topics. They also maintain one of the most active student group websites, http://calsfl.com.
They hold many provocative events to stand out and appeal to a liberal community. Last spring they hosted libertarian activist Starchild on the struggle to decriminalize sex work. They also organized a 4/20 event with the SSDP chapter that was profiled by Bureaucrash. Recently they hosted a 4-Loko prohibition party to protest against a potential ban on the drink. They also take on the left by hosted events such as a debate with the College Democrats over gun rights.
This November they hosted the 1st annual Northern California Students For Liberty Conference, the first of its kind and a milestone for the region.