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(Source: Michael Marquez)

A new club on campus formed to promote individual liberty and constitutional principles. Students met at a coffee shop just off campus in order to kickstart a chapter of Young Americans for Liberty last week.

The club met to get the Weber State University chapter on the path of what the members want to do this semester and how they want to be involved with politics and service opportunities on campus. There has been talk in previous years of getting a Young Americans for Liberty chapter on campus, but this year it finally got put together.

“I knew if I didn’t do it, no one else would,” said Kerry McShane, the founder of the chapter and interim president.

The club discussed bringing up issues not covered in the mainstream media, as well as educating and getting more people involved. With local city council coming on, one plan for the club will be trying to get more information about the candidates to students. The club also discussed how not enough students are involved in local issues, agreeing that local government is too important to disregard.

The club will focus on educating students on issues pertaining to liberty and the Constitution and getting students more politically involved. The students discussed current events and began to get the club organized for the current semester. The club plans to focus on educating students about their rights. For members of the club, it’s all about awareness.

“The main goal is to get students involved in the political process,” McShane said. “Our big focus is the Constitution — you would be surprised how many students don’t know their basic rights.”

McShane also mentioned that since the club is a libertarian group, it will raise issues that both Democrats and Republicans can agree upon. Democrats might agree with the club on pulling out foreign wars and ending corporate welfare, while Republicans might agree on privatizing social welfare and lowering taxes.

McShane added that just because it a libertarian club doesn’t mean it’s restricted to members of the Libertarian Party. She said she understands that no one will agree with the club on every political issue, and that she just wants more students involved in the political process and discussions.

“I hope to get an awareness (of) alternative solutions that both liberals and conservatives can agree on,” said Chris Frampton, a member of the club and a criminal justice major.

According to John Mbaku, faculty adviser to the group, one of the biggest things to combat is the common perception that libertarian groups are anti-government. He told the students that due to other liberty groups nationwide, people believe that all libertarian groups are anti-government. He said he just wants the government to play by the rules in the Constitution.

Young Americans for Liberty is a national organization with chapters in college campuses across the country. According to its website, “the mission of Young Americans for Liberty is to identify, educate, train, and mobilize youth activists committed to ‘winning on principle.’ Our goal is to cast the leaders of tomorrow and reclaim the policies, candidates, and direction of our government.”

The group will have regular meetings at a to-be-determined time. Students wanting more information can contact McShane at kerrymcshane@mail.weber.edu.

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