Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Faith in Liberty, Hope for the Future

It has been some time since I have written a piece for this blog, but as a creative soul who often has a distracted mind when it comes to sitting down and forcing myself to write - I only write when truly inspired. One  weekend this past April came to mine, and provided inspiration for this blog post, and much more than that.

My three peers from Lindenwood University and I embarked on a journey to Washington D.C. on a Thursday through Sunday in April for a conference on Markets and Catholic Social Thought at Georgetown University. I must say, before visiting our nation's capital I could never picture myself falling in love with a city - but I fell head over heels. Aside from my major of religion, and my minor of anthropology - one of my passions is history. Before the History Channel turned over to being all about aliens and conspiracy theories - and when it actually had decent documentaries about historical figures, that is all I watched. As our small group of four students including myself, and our professor (Dr. Douchant), walked around D.C. it was clear to me that I could spend weeks here exploring all of the museums, monuments, and streets. We arrived Thursday morning and toured the rest of the day as well as Friday (up until 5 p.m. when the conference started). At the conference we listened to the authors - whose works we had read in preparation for the conference - speak, and also had the chance to sit in groups with students from a few different colleges across the United States and discuss what we had read, what we had learned from reading, and what our thoughts and perspective were all this information.

The conference left me in awe. That is the best word for what I was feeling, and am still feeling after that weekend. As a millennial, a label I despise from the negative connotation that is often behind it - I often find myself discouraged with my generation's seemingly ambivalent nature when it comes to social change and intellectual topics. As I sat and listened to everyone in my group discuss the topics at hand - it was clear to me that my generation has great minds (LIBERTY minded ones), and that tyranny better watch out, because we are coming. I left D.C. with such incredible hope for the future of the liberty movement. As a Young Americans for Liberty chapter president, and now a State Chair for Missouri - I am always looking for possible people to recruit - and I suspect many students at the conference were more liberty minded than they thought, or would ever identify themselves as, unless they become familiar with the philosophy of liberty.

As I walked around the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in D.C., thinking about how I could see myself sitting for hours on those steps in the sun reading books about the philosophy of liberty, toured Koch Institute and learned about internship opportunities with liberty minded organizations, sat at a table with members of Institute for Human Studies and learned about summer seminars available for students on various liberty related topics, and as I read my free book I received at the end of the conference ("Why Liberty" edited by Tom G. Palmer) which turned out to be a collection of writings from libertarian authors  - I could only think one thing... the liberty movement is alive and well, and I have never been more passionate (and sure of something being a necessity in our society) in my entire life.

I cannot wait until my next opportunity to experience something like that weekend. And I cannot wait to spread the philosophy of liberty, even if that means exercising my right to free speech on a corner with flyers in hand. I am so excited for YALCON, our national convention for Young Americans for Liberty one week from now. Events like this give me hope for the future, and instill the passion I have for liberty.

That being said, if you have any questions about how YOU can get involved with the liberty movement in your state, on your campus, or if you'd like to learn more via book recommendations I have -  don't hesitate to contact me at mackenzie.vieth@yaliberty.org 

For Liberty,
Mackenzie Vieth

"Educate your children, educate yourselves, in the love for the freedom of others, for only in this way will your own freedom not be a gratuitous gift from fate. You will be aware of its worth and have the courage to defend it." - Jaoquim Nabuco

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sibley Day Event: The Liberty Hall of Fame

This past week on Tuesday, February 16th, Lindenwood University students and faculty alike celebrated Sibley Day. Every year our campus takes a day to do activities in honor of our founder - Mary Sibley. Each year a theme for Sibley Day is picked, and the theme this year was "Like No Other". This was the perfect opportunity for my members of Young Americans for Liberty and I to talk with students about how our organization specifically makes Lindenwood and college campuses all across the United States like no other!

Since Sibley Day this year was so close to Presidents' Day, we decided to host a Liberty Hall of Fame, which included our founders - many of whom were presidents - and political thinkers and philosophers who were and are the most liberty friendly!

 
 
Yes, the posters strapped to our bodies earned us a lot of looks from students. Luckily, our Liberty Hall of Fame wall earned just as many. The quotes next to each portrait sparked a lot of conversations from students and faculty alike. Many familiar faces were on our wall - but just as many liberty friendly political satirists and thinkers were unfamiliar, and hopefully our conversations sparked some google searches that would lead to discovery later for students!
 
We also had our political quiz out on display, so students could take a quiz to see how liberty friendly their political leanings are - and many students were surprised to learn just how much they agreed with liberty friendly policies once they were given a change to sit down over ten questions and answer basic questions! This is always a fun aspect of our tabling experiences! Even some members of faculty took our quiz and were interested in our display! The great thing about our organization is that liberty is for everyone- students, faculty, family, and parents alike. We had some great conversations with parents about how they loved seeing a political organization on campus that was doing more than hosting debates - we are out on campus doing activism events and talking with students!
 
 
 
It was great to meet students who had already been following our organization on social media on Sibley Day as well. As our presence on campus grows from twelve members to many more - I hope to connect with more students who agree that liberty should be the foremost aspect of our society!
 
If you specifically have any questions, you can contact us at YALlindenwood@gmail.com ! You can also like our Facebook page www.facebook.com/lindenwoodyal, and follow us on instagram and twitter for updates on meetings and events!

 

 
 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Spring Recruitment Drive

At the beginning of every semester Young Americans for Liberty has a recruitment drive where we encourage students to visit us and talk to our members about YAL and why they personally joined the club. This is a great opportunity for Lindenwood students to talk to others and find out what  Young Americans for Liberty is all about, and how they can get involved with our activism on campus this semester too! Liberty is for everyone!


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Why Did I Join Young Americans for Liberty?

Hello everyone! Chapter president here, Mackenzie Vieth! In case you haven't read my short bio for this blog, I am the last person some people would expect to join Young Americans for Liberty. When I told my family that I was now president of Young Americans for Liberty at Lindenwood - their first question was "what is that?", their second was "wait, did you say PRESIDENT?" I will admit, I had my doubts myself. I had never been especially involved in anything during my three years of college, and even in high school my extracurriculars were the simply art club and one semester of soccer. But when I met with Anna, my state chair at the time, and now my regional director for Young Americans for Liberty- I slowly realized that I had finally found something I wanted to be involved in...
To make a long story short, Anna messaged me on Facebook and said that she had noticed I had been liking a lot of her posts about the liberty movement and from the Young Americans for Liberty facebook page. She asked me if I would like me to meet for coffee so she could tell me more about it! I didn't realize at the time that she was going to ask me if I would potentially like to be part of starting a chapter of YAL at Lindenwood University. I was flattered, but told her that I didn't really know anything about politics or business - I'm just a religion major. What she told me next really resonated with me... you don't need to be a politics fanatic or a business major to be involved in Young Americans for Liberty, everyone brings a unique perspective to their chapters and you can be just as passionate as political science majors. This is so incredibly true. The message of liberty resonates with SO many people. I had never had a name or a label for what I believed in, and the more I research Young Americans for Liberty after that initial meeting with Anna - the more I thought: "this is it."
I had finally found a movement I was willing to get behind and push forth. I'm not a member Young Americans for Liberty because I needed a resume builder, or a hobby. I am a member of YAL because I believe liberty is something each individual citizen deserves, and I am proud to be one of the thousands of youth activists across the United States that is spreading the message! I've been a chapter president at Lindenwood for only four and a half months, and I've already made lifelong friends and connections - and I haven't even attended a major YAL convention yet! I can hardly wait for what the spring semester has in store for Young Americans for Liberty at Lindenwood. And now Missouri is having it's own state convention in April 2016 for YAL, and I'm a recruitment director who gets to spread the word about how much fun that convention is going to be for everyone!
Want to know more about the mission of Young Americans for Liberty? Check out my previous post on this blog!
 If you have any personal questions, email me at YALlindenwood@gmail.com!
twitter & instagram: @lindenwoodYAL

Friday, December 4, 2015

What is YAL? How Do I Know If I Should Join?

What exactly is the organization of Young Americans for Liberty, and what do we stand for?

The Basics:

WE, as Young Americans for Liberty believe:
that government is the negation of liberty; 
that voluntary action is the only ethical behavior; 
that respect for the individual's property is fundamental to a peaceful society;
that violent action is only warranted in defense of one's property; 
that the individual owns his/her body and is therefore responsible for his/her actions;
that society is a responsibility of the people, not the government.

Young Americans for Liberty believes our country was created to protect the freedoms of the individual and be directed by We the People. We recognize the natural rights of life, liberty, and property set forth by our Founding Fathers.

Young Americans for Liberty's goal to raise awareness about liberty-minded beliefs, each chapter performs a variety of events on campus, including fundraising for liberty-minded causes, hosting speakers, or tabling/protesting. Chapter all over the United States host events on campuses such as free speech walls, Constitution Week, and YAL-oween (which Lindenwood's chapter hosted earlier this year as you can see in our previous blog post)!

The History:

Young Americas for Liberty was started by Ron Paul's National Youth Coordinator, Jeff Frazee, and launched the organization with an ambitious goal of starting over 100 campus chapters in 2009. From 2009 onward, the organization's growth exploded. YAL went from 150 chapters at the end of 2009 to 600 chapters as of April 2015, and as a Lindenwood University student I am proud to be president of one of those chapters!

The Bottom Line:

Young Americans for Liberty is the perfect organization for students who want to be a part of something relevant to their lives and to the lives of everyone around them! We promote activism, give back to our community, and at the same time aim to give students the leadership skills they need to succeed! Before I was asked to be president of Young Americans for Liberty I found myself unable to find a meaningful school organization to join! YAL is the best of both worlds - we get to meet new friends, discuss things we are passionate about, and also make a difference on our campus and beyond!

Students of Lindenwood, please don't think that you have to be a political science or business major to join YAL! Personally, I am a Comparative Religions major at Lindenwood and I still love this organization and everything it stands for and am honored that I get to be a part of it!

If you believe in THIS, join Young Americans for Liberty at Lindenwood today:

lib·er·ty
ˈlibərdē/
noun
  1. 1.
    the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one's way of life, behavior, or political views.
    "compulsory retirement would interfere with individual liberty"
    synonyms:independencefreedomautonomysovereigntyself-government,self-ruleself-determinationMore
  2. 2.
    the power or scope to act as one pleases.
    "individuals should enjoy the liberty to pursue their own interests and preferences"
    synonyms:freedomindependence, free rein, license, self-determinationfree will,latitude
    "personal liberty"

Your President of Young Americans for Liberty Lindenwood,
Mackenzie Vieth

 If you have any questions, feel free to email me at yallindenwood@gmail.com ! 
You can also like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LindenwoodYAL,
 and follow us on twitter and instagram @LindenwoodYAL for updates!




Monday, November 2, 2015

YALoween

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic Halloween! This is President of Young Americans for Liberty at Lindenwood University here, Mackenzie Vieth! This past Friday, October 30th, I set up a display at Lindenwood University for what we at YAL (Young Americans for Liberty) like to call YALoween! The goal of this display was to bring students attention to the fact that Young Americans for Liberty has a presence on campus and is advocating for something that every student should care about - LIBERTY! Though getting approval for events can sometimes be a struggle, I set out to make sure that YALoween would be a success at Lindenwood and get people's attention on campus for sure! The night before, a member of my chapter and I spent the entire night preparing the tombstone display! It was a lot of work but the result was fabulous and now Lindenwood's chapter will have a display to put up every year!

We began with tri-folds that are normally used for school science projects and measured them and cut them into tombstones! Then we spray painted each tombstone one by one on the front and back and set them out to dry for about an hour before we started painting the actual words for the tombstones on! Then we painting all of our phrases onto the tombstones, and stuck wire into them so that they had a way to be secured into the ground.

This was an 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. project, but liberty never sleeps! And I felt that this was such an important event on campus to get Young Americans for Liberty's presence known on campus! I wanted our YALoween table to be seen all day, so I made the event from 10 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. so that our display and table would get the most exposure. It was so great to see the odd looks people were giving me as I was setting up the tombstones, probably wondering what exactly was going on. This was so encouraging that people were already curious!

 
 
As students poured out of Butler Library and the two classroom buildings beside it, they began to notice the YALoween display and of course the sign that said "Take our quiz get free candy" was hard for students to pass up! I taped the definition of liberty to one side of each candy and Young Americans for Liberty Lindenwood's social media info to the other so that everyone who took a piece would see links to find out more about Lindenwood YAL! I had so many meaningful discussions last Friday that it made me proud of Lindenwood University. I talked with one veteran about the importance of education, and with another veteran about the TSA and respecting other cultures. I even had a foreign exchange student from South America ask if he could join YAL even though he wasn't technically American because he was extremely interested in American politics and policy! Special thanks to John of Young Americans for Liberty at Mizzou for making the drive from Columbia to St. Charles to help me table for YALoween! I got around 15 to 20 sign ups of people that were interested and this was such an encouraging day for me. I hope that everyone who signed up and anyone who reads this post gets excited about YAL as I am! You can follow YAL Lindenwood on social media sites here to stay in contact and get update on events:

twitter and instagram: @LindenwoodYAL