Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) is a pro-liberty organization on college campuses across the United States. With 804 chapters nationwide, sophomore Nick Sullivan decided to bring YAL to Harding.
“I was approached by the state chair after I liked the Libertarian Arkansas page on Facebook,” Sullivan said. “I was out of school for a while, but when I came back, it seemed like a great opportunity for me to start a chapter at Harding.”
According to Sullivan, you do not have to be a Libertarian to join the club. You just need to have the same principles and an open mind.
“Our mission is to identify, educate, train and mobilize youth activism committed to winning on principle,” Sullivan said. “It is principles based, not party based.”
Last semester was YAL’s first semester as an official club. They focus on activism and civil liberties, realizing that freedom requires responsibility.
Junior Hope Gautney, YAL secretary and treasurer, said they want to bring in a lot of open, constructive discussion.
YAL is looking for people with different political stances so that conversations are not all one sided.
“We are Americans, we are young. If any differences come about or something happens that we do not like, it is up to us to fix it,” Gautney said. “The point of this club is to inform others about what is going on in a non-partisan kind of way.”
Dr. David Kee, YAL sponsor, said he was familiar with the group at other colleges, and has always been a YAL supporter.
“I like that students are trying to promote concepts of liberty, free market and free will thinking. Those kinds of things are important to me. It also ties into my faith,” Kee said. “God gave us free will, and I think it is important to give others free will as well.”
This semester, YAL is attending a weekend conference in Atlanta, GA on April 22 where they will be learning different activism tactics. There are also plans for a mock trial to take place later in the semester.
“We are trying to inform and teach about liberty while making it fun and exciting,” Gautney said. “Even other political clubs have shown interest in YAL, and that is exactly what we want.”
YAL is also partnering with the Veteran’s Association and Bailey’s Pizza this semester to raise money and awareness for Searcy’s homeless community.