Monday, November 28, 2011

Celebrating the 220th Anniversary of the Bill of Rights

On November 28th, YAL@VU co-sponsored the Celebration of the 220th Anniversary of the Bill of Rights with the Office of Active Citizenship and Service. The event was a special dinner featuring table discussions on the Bill of Rights along with a lecture by and Q&A with guest speaker John Seigenthaler, founder of the First Amendment Center. We distributed YAL Pocket Constitutions along with the programs at the event. See more pictures and video below.

Friday, November 18, 2011

An Evening with Vanderbilt Law Professor Erin O’Hara

On November 17th, YAL@VU hosted a dinner discussion with Vanderbilt Law Professor Erin O’Hara.

Prof. O'Hara presented a very interesting lecture entitled "Can Societies Be Separated From Their Laws?" We discussed various approaches to undesirable laws including seasteading, contracting/choosing governing law, and arbitration.

We had another great turnout at this event and the video of the presentation can be watched below:

Friday, November 11, 2011

An Evening with Belmont Univ. Political Science Prof. Nathan Griffith

On November 10th, YAL@VU hosted a dinner discussion entitled “2081: The Year We Become Equal” with Belmont University Political Science Professor Nathan Griffith.

The event began with a showing of “2081,” a short film adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's “Harrison Bergeron,” which depicts a dystopian future in which all people are mandated equal – “handicaps” are placed on the strong, the intelligent, and the beautiful. Following the movie, Griffith's talk focused on the tension between equality and liberty, citing Madison's “Federalist No. 10” and Rousseau's “The Social Contract,” before evolving into a discussion of the definitions of true freedom versus individual freedom.

We had a great turnout for this event. With a few new students in attendance, hopefully our active membership continues to grow as a result. The video of his lecture can be watched below:

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Report on Occupy Nashville

At noon on Oct. 6th, in Nashville, TN, over 200 protestors gathered at Legislative Plaza to hold the first rally of the Occupy Nashville movement, a branch of the Occupy Wall Street movement that has been making headlines in recent weeks. At the rally there was a very diverse crowd of people ranging from libertarians to socialists to anarchists holding signs with phrases including “End the Fed,” “Tax the rich,” and “End corporate welfare,” while chanting slogans such as “we are the 99%” and “the people united will never be defeated.”
At the rally, YAL@VU volunteers distributed copies of The Morality of Capitalism while one member held up this sign:

Around 2PM, the protestors moved to the front steps of the Nashville branch of the Federal Reserve where several members of the crowd began speeches on inflationary tactics used by the Fed to prop up the economy.
Around 4PM, protestors headed to Centennial Park , where we interviewed some of them:

Thursday, September 29, 2011

September Activism Concludes with Sweatshop Economics

YAL@VU hosted a webinar watching party on Sept. 27th, streaming a presentation by Prof. Ben Powell on “No Sweat: How Sweatshops Improve Lives and Economic Growth.”

The presentation explained how sweatshops provide a superior opportunity for the workers who work in them compared to other alternatives available to those workers and the role sweatshops play in the process of economic development that ultimately leads to the disappearance of sweatshops.

The webinar was part of the SFL Webinar Series.

A short version of the lecture can be watched below:

We also recieved two more mentions on local television this week related to the recent controversy over the implementation of a non-discrimination policy threatening the freedom of association rights of student groups. WZTV-TVWSMV-TV

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Dr. John R. Lott Jr. on Concealed Carry on Campus

YAL@VU got the following front page feature in The Hustler on Thursday, Sept. 22nd.:

Full video below:

Additional media:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Celebrating Constitution Day 2011

Sept. 17th, 2011, marked the 224th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution. To commemorate the signing, we held our 2nd Annual Constitution Day Celebration at Vanderbilt.

Distributing 1,200 pocket Constitutions over three days, Friday Sept. 16th through Sunday Sept. 19th, YAL members educated students on the Constitution while providing insight on the need for limitations on power and responsible use of power in order to achieve good governance in both public and private matters.

In each pocket Constitution, we included a short quiz to test the recipient's knowledge of the Constitution. We also displayed a replica of the U.S. Constitution and encouraged students to sign it!

Participation in these activities aided students in becoming ethical, responsible, and self-disciplined leaders; challenged them to develop an appreciation for civility and diversity; prepared them for community leadership and citizenship; and supported an environment that embraces discourse and the exchange of ideas.

Since it was also family weekend at Vanderbilt, there were many students showing the campus to their parents. We noticed that parents were often very receptive to our message, and their responses were quite encouraging; a few personally told us that they appreciated the good work we were doing.

Some parents sat at the nearby tables and skimmed the Constitution as they waited to meet up with their children. Several reacted to the event by asking their students why they were not already involved in our organization. As a result, we even had a few students walk up and ask how to get more involved!

Overall, we put a smile on many faces, educated a lot of students, and recruited members and potential leaders into our organization.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Vanderbilt YAL: Fantastic First Meeting


Vanderbilt YAL's first official meeting this semester was a HUGE success as we hosted our faculty advisor, Dr. John Lachs, Centennial Professor of Philosophy, who spoke on the "The Significance of Individuals." Prof. Lachs delivered a wonderful speech interlaced with humor and optimism. The video of our meeting can be seen below.

We had a great turnout at the event and many freshmen in attendence. Best of all, we had THREE TV news stations covering our meeting: WSMV-TV Channel 4, Nashville,, and WKRN-TV Nashville.

Our meeting concluded with a Presidential Debate Watching Party and several students were interviewed by the media during the breaks. One of the news clips can be found here:

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fantastic Recruitment Week



Our recruitment week at Vanderbilt was a great success as we distributed 300 copies of The Morality of Capitalism to students in five days of tabling. We added close to 150 new students to our lists while educating new students about our organization's mission.

We'll be having our first official meeting next Wednesday (9/7) in Commons Center Room 237 at 6PM. Our guest speaker is our faculty advisor, Prof. John Lachs, Centennial Professor of Philosophy. Prof. Lachs will be speaking on the "The Significance of Individuals." Please come join us as we introduce the philosophy of liberty to first year students!

There will be FREE catered dinner and drinks!

RSVP here:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

YAL Briefs Freshmen on Honor Code Rights and Responsibilities

YAL@VU handed out copies of this brochure to the 1,600 first-year students at Vanderbilt, as they entered the Student Life Center, this year, to participate in the annual mandatory Honor Code Signing Ceremony. The goal of this brochure was to inform students about their right to due process and responsibilities under the honor system. We highlighted some interesting policies in the brochure including: "Under no circumstances will the use of polygraph examinations be permitted" and "Under the Honor Code, the proof that a person is guilty of a charge must satisfy a 'preponderance-of-the-evidence' standard." In addition to including statistics about Honor Council cases from last year, we also encouraged students to attend out interest meeting in September.

YAL Welcomes Freshmen at Vanderbilt Founders Walk and Community Picnic

© John Russell/Vanderbilt University

YAL@VU made our first impression on freshmen at the Founders Walk student organization banner contest, this year. Student organizations, including plenty of greek life, lined up with their banners along the walking route to welcome freshmen with chants, screams, and hoots. The Founders Walk is an annual Vanderbilt tradition, that "formally welcomes each first-year class into our community. Each House of The Commons, led by its Faculty Head of House and Resident Advisers and accompanied by VUceptors, [is] greeted by students, staff, alumni, administrators, and faculty." YAL@VU members had a lot of fun creating some interesting chants such as: "Y is for you and me, A is for America free, L is for liberty, Y-A-L, Y-A-L."

© John Russell/Vanderbilt University

Afterwards, we approached groups of freshmen at the Vanderbilt Community Picnic to personally introduce them to Young Americans for Liberty and invited them to check out our table at the student org. fair.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

YAL@VU Gearing Up for Recruitment Week

Hey all!

The fall semester starts in less than 3 weeks from today and YAL@VU is getting ready to welcome Vanderbilt's new freshman class. Over the next few weeks, we'll be rallying our members together and planning our tabling on campus and at the student organizations fair.

Can't wait to introduce new students to the philosophy of liberty!

- Kenny Tan

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Enjoying the summer at FIRE

Hey everyone,

Thanks for checking out our blog over the summer.  Right now, I'm interning at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education(FIRE) and I'm lovin it!

Check out my intro here:
And the rest of my awesome coworkers:

Yes, shameless self-promotion.
- Kenny Tan

New and improved activities page!

We've cleaned up the look and feel of the activities page and added shortcut-links for each event.  Check it out!

Friday, May 13, 2011

YAL@VU Annual Report 2010-2011

We've just published our annual report for our first year.  Check it out here: Annual Report

Friday, April 29, 2011

YAL@VU Finishes Spring 2011 Semester

It's hard to believe our first year is over.  Finals are finishing up next week and students will be headed home for the summer.  It's been a great semester and a great first year here at Vanderbilt.  Check out all the great activities we've participated in this year.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Paper vs. Gold and Silver Debate Recap

YAL Vandy hosted our economics debate event Thursday night.  We were glad to see a good turnout and an interested audience.  Both Dr. Murphy and Professor Crucini offered intelligent viewpoints.  During our Q&A, our audience was eager to ask questions.

The reception afterwards was a great opportunity for the audience to get to know our guest speakers better and learn more.

Anyone who wants to learn more about this topic can watch this informative video produced by the Mises Institute:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Press Release: Paper vs. Metal Currency Debate at Vanderbilt

CONTACT:  Kenny Tan, President, Young Americans for Liberty at Vanderbilt University

Paper vs. Metal Currency Debate at Vanderbilt

NASHVILLE, TN— On Thursday, April 21st, the Young Americans for Liberty at Vanderbilt University will host a discussion at 5:00 P.M. in Vanderbilt’s Commons Center room 235/237.  Austrian School economist Dr. Robert Murphy and Vanderbilt Professor of Economics Mario Crucini will debate the topic of “Paper Money vs. Gold and Silver.”

“Since abandoning the gold standard in 1971, the U.S. dollar has persistently lost value.  This inflation has severally hurt the average citizen by secretly robbing them of their savings and forcing them to pay more and more for basic necessities,” said Kenny Tan, President of YAL at Vanderbilt.  “We hope that this event will encourage people to rethink how they manage their savings and perhaps even encourage the state of Tennessee to consider passing legislation similar to the Constitutional Tender legislation which was passed and signed into law in Utah last month.”

The goal of the program is to educate students and other members of society on the pros and cons of a fiat currency, such as the Federal Reserve Notes used in the United States, the historical usage of precious metals as currency, and the ongoing argument between supporters of each.  The event is free and open to the public with a catered gourmet reception to be held after the hour-long debate.

For more information on this event, please contact Kenny Tan at

YAL at Vanderbilt University is part of Young Americans for Liberty, a national network of more than 190 chapters which grew out of the 2008 presidential election’s Students for Ron Paul. YAL seeks to recruit, train, educate, and mobilize students on the ideals of individual liberty and the U.S. Constitution.
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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Atlas Shrugged Event Recap

Many new people attended our latest event, Atlas Shrugged Movie Preview and Discussion. The event went well and the discussion was interesting, to say the least.  But for some people, the topics were a bit obscure.  Special thanks to our guest speaker, Christopher Cotter.  And of course, I must credit T.J. McCubbin for being a stanch counterbalance to objectivism.  Tomorrow night, eleven of us will be meeting for dinner with local Nashville community members and we'll be going to see Atlas Shrugged Part 1 in theaters.

Anyone who wants to view an extended playlist of the videos we showed at the event can click here.

And of course, credits to UnCommons Catering for the food setup.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Who is John Galt?

If you are wondering "Who is John Galt?" find out on...

Thursday, April 14 · 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Commons Center 237


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Official Website Launched

A full website redesign and update was completed today.
Check out our new "2010-2011 Activities" tab to view past events!