Students celebrate liberty, free speech

Benjamin Pierce, Assistant News Editor

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Libertarians on campus joined forces last Monday to promote liberty for young Americans by handing out copies of the constitution.

The University of Wisconsin – Whitewater chapter of Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) joined forces with student government for the event. YAL is a national non-profit organization dedicated to promoting liberty for young people across the nation.

The group is the fastest growing pro-liberty organization on campuses across the U.S. with more than 300,000 members.

“We wanted to educate people and have them understand their rights as citizens,” said YAL chapter president Andrea Checkai.

WSG Intergovernmental Affairs Director Jesse Black said the partnership with YAL was an ideal match.

“We host an event around Constitution Day annually and joining forces with YAL gave us the opportunity to bring more awareness to the holiday and to problems around us,” Black said.

Alexander Staudt serves as National Director of Free Speech for the YAL organization. He mentioned that the event was a crucial opportunity for students both at UW-W and across the nation.

“At YAL we try to give young Americans the tools they need to be the change they want to see in the world,” Staudt said.

He also advocated for students to continue to fight for their rights on campuses across the nation and to continue to learn about citizen protections laid out in the constitution.

“Do your research, explore issues and form your own opinions,” Staudt said.

“One of the greatest things is getting a call from a student after they reform a speech code or campus policy. Students can do anything they want if they take a stand,” he said.

While the event was the first of its kind, constitutions went fast and many students were asking questions.

“It was wonderful,” Checkai said of the event. “People have been so responsive and we hope that they can continue to see that we are here to serve them. We are constantly fighting for student rights.”

The Whitewater YAL chapter meets every Tuesday in room 69 of the University Center.