WE WON: YAF Chapter of the Year
We are excited to announce that our chapter is YAF's 2015 College Chapter of the Year! With this recognition, we are awarded a $5,000 grant to bring in a prominent conservative speaker for a campus lecture during the 2015-2016 academic year!
This was YAF's first year back at the University of Michigan, and the chapter quickly became the preeminent group on campus for advancing conservative ideas. The group not only organized Young America's Foundation's flagship projects such as the 9/11: Never Forget Project, Freedom Week, and No More Che Day, but it also brought to campus speakers such as Jonah Goldberg, Deroy Murdock, and George Harbison, drawing hundreds of attendees and national media coverage.
The chapter was truly on the frontlines, fighting campus leftists on news media outlets across the country and leading the charge against biased professors and liberal activists. Doing so, the chapter had various national and local television appearances, dozens of radio interviews, and print and online media articles. The three things that they have pioneered that have gained the most traction were their opposition of professor Susan Douglas, their event with Jonah Goldberg, and their successful efforts defending 'American Sniper' on campus.
The chapter's first major fight was its opposition of Susan Douglas, a University of Michigan department chair who wrote an article criticizing the intelligence of conservatives and arguing that others should "hate" conservatives. University of Michigan YAF exposed this professor by sending out a statement to its press list and taking the story across the state and country. The chapter's efforts leading the charge on this was featured in all local media outlets and several national ones including The Washington Times and Fox & Friends, where Chairman Grant Strobl was a guest.
The second large controversy stemmed from the chapter's event featuring Jonah Goldberg where, ironically, 'the liberal thought police' stole the group's advertisement warning of 'the liberal thought police.' This irony was featured online and helped to draw a crowd of over 150 attendees. Following the event, Goldberg wrote a column discussing the event titled "The University of Michigan's Tolerance Problem." This column was featured in the LA Times, New York Post, and National Review, among others.
The chapter's final fight emerged from the cancellation of a screening of the film American Sniper by the university due to a petition circulated by the Muslim Student Association claiming that Chris Kyle, the film's protagonist and a military hero, was a racist. The chapter coordinated the release of the story, published a statement, and immediately created a petition to bring the film back. Within a day, the chapter was able to turn this into a national issue, garnering the support of over 650 students and alumni. Ultimately, the chapter's efforts brought the screening back, capitalized by the proud support of University of Michigan head football coach Jim Harbaugh. The chapter's efforts were featured in the New York Post, Daily Mail, Fox News, Breitbart, Daily Caller, Time, and other outlets. Additionally, two of the chapter's officers appeared on Fox & Friends to discuss this controversy. In the end, over 150 students came to watch the film screening.
University of Michigan YAF is influencing debate on an overwhelmingly liberal campus by boldly advancing conservative principles and ideas, and it is making headlines by doing so. The chapter's leaders and members are excited and primed to top their efforts thus far during the upcoming academic year.