By Stacy Damitio
Civil and economic liberties are the cornerstone of America’s foundation, and with the high pitched tumultuous political climate, some college students have started to speak out about their concerns.
Young Americans for Liberty was started nationally in 2008, and now has over 300 active groups on college and high school campuses.
Glendale Community College’s chapter was started Oct. 2012 by president and founder, Gage Skidmore. The club currently has 10 active members and roughly 140 people on their email list.
YAL’s main objective is to educate young students on their Constitutional Rights and civil liberties. The club is also very active in exploring foreign policy issues as well as domestic policies.
“There is not one uniform political view our club has,” Skidmore said. “There are liberals and conservatives in our group. There are libertarians like those who support Ron Paul.”
YAL sets up tables in and around the Student Union, where they hand out flyers and pamphlets concerning the issues they are focused on. This gives Vice President Mathew Gonzalez the chance to ask students what their biggest worries and concerns are when it comes to their liberties and freedoms.
“Most of them would say, ‘I don’t know or I never thought of it,’” Gonzalez said.
This utter display of apathy in students who are old enough to vote is alarming to Gonzalez and Skidmore.
“Over the past 10 years there has been an emergence and new approach to monetary policy in this country,” Gonzalez said.
This particular area is a major concern for Gonzalez and Skidmore, who see growing amounts of indifference when they speak to young voters.
In order to combat that problem, YAL hosts a variety of speakers to speak with students.
The most current name added to the list is Arizona Congressman David Schweikert who will be at GCC on Feb. 21 at 2:00 p.m., in the Student Union, room SU-104DE.
According to YAL’s website, “The event will be a part of the “Free Markets 101” project that chapters nationwide will be participating in, in order to educate students on the benefits of a free market, and debunking the myths of socialism, cronyism, and wealth redistribution.”
Students will also be given a chance to ask the congressman questions.
YAL’s main focus is on a younger demographic of the population because they do not see the principles of free market economics being taught in schools or in homes.
“Kids grow up thinking they are entitled. Some have never had a job, and they are told to go file this and that and let the government take care of it,” Gonzalez said.
Last semester YAL hosted Barry Goldwater Jr., former member of the House of Representatives and Shawn Dow, who is on the Board of Directors for The Campaign for Liberty, which is .U.S. Representative from Texas, Ron Paul’s camp.
“Young Americans for Liberty hasn’t endorsed Ron Paul, but Ron Paul has endorsed Young Americans for Liberty,” Skidmore said.
YAL’s foreign policy aligns evenly with that of Ron Paul’s.
“Young Americans for Liberty savors a non-interventionist policy,” Gonzalez said. “Non-intervention means we are not in foreign countries fighting wars for them. We shouldn’t be entangling those countries [in the Middle East,] and providing them weapons.”
This is an issue widely discussed throughout YAL chapters nationwide. The club openly examines them with students and veterans.
“There are a lot of veterans who agree the intervention policy is confusing and our foreign policy needs to be changed,” Gonzalez said.
Another speaker who Gonzalez is interested in having speak is Senator Karen Johnson.
“I heard her speak about civil liberties, and it was great. She was giving a speech to her own party, telling them to stop playing politics,” Gonzalez said.
YAL meets every other week in MA-104 at 2 p.m., if students are interested in attending a meeting.