Tuesday, February 14, 2012

YAL@VU Spring 2012 Recruitment Report

YAL@VU had an extensive spring recruitment drive this year, hosting four events to garner interest in the organization, and signing up over fifty new members.
In January, we held a Teach-In on the National Defense Authorization Act, along with a Presidential Debate Watching Party. We also hosted a dinner discussion with Libertarian Vanderbilt Sociology Professor Richard Pitt. In February, we hosted a lecture by libertarian Radley Balko on The Militarization of Main Street. We also participated in the national activism event, Crony Capitalism = Phony Capitalism.
Here are some pictures of our events along with mentions in the press.

Radley Balko: The Militarization of Main Street

Radley Balko is a senior writer and investigative journalist for Huffington Post, where he writes about criminal justice and civil liberties, and also writes about Nashville music and culture. He was previously a senior editor at Reason magazine, and he has been published in a variety of media outlets from Playboy to the Wall Street Journal.

On February 13th, YAL@VU hosted Radley Balko for a dinner discussion on The Militarization of Main Street. About 60 students, faculty, staff, and local community members attended the event. Comments about the presentation were very positive.
The video of the event can be watched below.

Examining the rise of SWAT teams and America’s increasingly reactionary, militaristic approach to policing, Balko mentioned the gradual decline of the Law of Posse Comitatus – the principle that there should be a total separation of the military from civil law enforcement. He went on to discuss botched raids and the terror and intimidation, and sometimes death, suffered by civilians as a result. Balko ended the discussion by emphasizing the importance of holding our politicians accountable for these issues and that real change can only be brought about by a mentality change over time.