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ANNOUNCEMENTS

Dear SFL Alumni,

I would like to formally invite you to the 2015 International Students For LibertyConference, the world’s largest gathering pro-liberty students and alumni. Part lecture hall, networking session, debate forum, and pep rally for liberty, the ISFLC is the can’t miss event of the year. And now SFL’s alumni association Alumni For Liberty will be offering more than ever.

Alumni For Liberty’s mission is to both raise support for the student movement for liberty and provide support and services to our alumni members. Services such as career counseling and networking with your fellow alumni. With hundreds of SFL leaders graduating each year we are rapidly approaching a future were AFLers will occupy important positions out there in the “real world”, and it is critical that we stay connected and united in our goal of creating a free society.

Our annual homecoming at the International Students For Liberty Conference is a great opportunity to do just that. All AFL members get free registration at the ISFLC, so sign up for AFL now to take advantage of this opportunity.

AFL will be hosting a series of events targeted at graduating seniors and recent alumni to connect our community and support their transition from student activists to lifelong advocates of liberty.

AFL Breakout Sessions @ ISFLC

  • Careers Panel  – College graduates face a myriad of possible career paths. Come learn from leaders in the business, policy, academic, non-profit and media communities who will discuss many of the options available and how recent grads can take the first steps down the road of building your career. Moderated by Tax Foundation Vice President Joseph Henchman.
  • Job Hunting 101 – Your first job hunt can be an overwhelming experience. This session focuses on practical advice on preparing, searching, applying for and landing your next job including tips on resumes, cover letters, interviews and general do’s and don’ts of the job hunt. Moderated by SFL VP Clark Ruper
  • Communication Workshop – The notion “if I build it they will come” has always been wrong. No matter what you are selling you have to find and relate to your intended audience. Learn how to sell your ideas, your product, and most importantly yourself. Featuring Massachusetts Republican Party Deputy Field Director Nathan Fatal and Show-Me Cannabis Executive Director John Payne.
  • Navigating Academia – Many young libertarians dream of becoming a famous academic or inspiring professor. This is a noble goal but the path from undergrad through graduate school is a long and winding road. Presented by GMU PhD Fellow Liya Palagashvilli.
  • Discover Your Inner Entrepreneur – Entrepreneurship is the engine that drives the economy and social change. By definition there is no path to follow, you have to make your own. Presented by Praxis CEO Isaac Morehouse.

This of course will all be taking place alongside the ISFLC’s world-class lineup of speakers from around the liberty movement and the world.

We will also be hosting our Annual AFL Homecoming Social on Saturday night with free drinks for AFL members.

As mentioned all current AFL members receive free registration to the International Conference. If you are a current member, awesome, register for the ISFLC now here.

If you are not in AFL yet now is the time. Sign up for as little as $10 a month to support the student movement for liberty and take advantage of the free ISFLC registration and other benefits.

I am looking forward to seeing you there. If you have any questions regarding the ISFLC or Alumni For Liberty in general, just drop me a line.

Sincerely & For Liberty,

Clark Ruper

Vice President & Director of Alumni Relations

ANNOUNCEMENTS

One of our speakers for the upcoming 2015 ISFLC on February 13th-15th  will be Jared Polis!

Jared Polis is an independent leader who uses his private and public sector experience to find pragmatic solutions to the challenges facing Colorado and the nation. First elected to represent Colorado’s Second Congressional District in 2008, Polis serves on the powerful Committee on Rules, the Committee on the Education and the Workforce, and the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. His efforts in this area focus on getting accountability right at all levels, expanding educational models that work, and improving persistently failing schools with data-driven models to reduce achievement gaps. Polis also works with Democrats and Republicans to reform our nation’s broken immigration policies, to advance the cause of civil rights and equality for all, and to protect Colorado and the world’s natural beauty and environment. While still attending Princeton University, Polis co-founded his first company, American Information Systems, a success he followed with the launching of bluemountain.com and ProFlowers.com. He has been named an “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Ernst and Young.

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ANNOUNCEMENTS

One of our speakers for the upcoming 2015 ISFLC February 13th-15th  will be Grover Norquist! 

Grover Norquist is the president of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), a taxpayer advocacy group he founded in 1985 at President Reagan’s request. ATR works to limit the size and cost of government and opposes higher taxes at the federal, state, and local levels and supports tax reform that moves towards taxing consumed income one time at one rate.  ATR organizes the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, which asks all candidates for federal and state office to commit themselves in writing to the American people to oppose all tax increases. In the 113th Congress, 219 House members and 41 Senators have taken the pledge. On the state level, 14 governors and 1,035 state legislators have taken the pledge. Norquist chairs the Washington, DC – based “Wednesday Meeting,” a weekly gathering of more than 150 elected officials, political activists, and movement leaders. The meeting started in 1993 and takes place in ATR’s conference room. There are now 60 similar “center-right” meetings in 48 states. He is the author of Rock the House, Taxes: The Economic & Philosophical Necessity of Real Reform, Leave Us Alone: Getting the Governments Hands Off Our Money, Our Guns, Our Lives, and Debacle: Obama’s War on Jobs and Growth and What We Can Do Now to Regain Our Future.

Check out the links below to learn more about Norquist’s work:

Articles:

Interviews & Videos:

Learn more about Grover Norquist here and be sure to register for the 2015 ISFLC!

ANNOUNCEMENTS

One of our speakers for the upcoming 2015 International Students For Liberty Conference on February 13th-15th will be Cato Vice President David Boaz!

David Boaz is the executive vice president of the Cato Institute and has played a key role in the development of the Cato Institute and the libertarian movement. He is a provocative commentator and a leading authority on domestic issues such as education choice, drug legalization, the growth of government, and the rise of libertarianism. Boaz is the former editor of New Guard magazine and was executive director of the Council for a Competitive Economy prior to joining Cato in 1981. He is the author of Libertarianism: A Primer, described by the Los Angeles Times as “a well-researched manifesto of libertarian ideas,” the editor of The Libertarian Reader, and coeditor of the Cato Handbook For Policymakers. His articles have been published in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles TimesNational Review, and Slate. He is a frequent guest on national television and radio shows, and has appeared on ABC’s Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher, CNN’s Crossfire, NPR’s Talk of the Nation and All Things Considered, John McLaughlin’s One on One, Fox News Channel, BBC, Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and other media. His latest book is The Politics of Freedom.

Check out the links below to learn more about Boaz’s  work:

Commentaries:

Speeches:

Studies:

Interviews, Lectures & Videos:

To learn more about David Boaz, click here! Don’t forget to register for ISFLC!

ANNOUNCEMENTS

One of our speakers for the upcoming 2015 ISFLC on February 13th-15th will be Rob Kampia!

Rob Kampia co-founded the Marijuana Policy Project in 1995 and has served as its executive director ever since. Rob is the architect of most of the state-level marijuana laws that have been enacted in the United States since 2000: Most importantly, MPP legalized marijuana in Colorado in 2012. As a result, Colorado has the best marijuana law in the world. MPP decriminalized marijuana possession via a ballot initiative in Massachusetts in 2008. Since then, MPP passed similar laws through the Rhode Island, Vermont, and Maryland legislatures. MPP was also instrumental or entirely responsible for legalizing medical marijuana in Arizona, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, and the District of Columbia between 2000 and 2014. Rob has provided fiery testimony before Congress twice, as well as testifying before nine state legislatures. Rob has been quoted in almost every newspaper in the United States and regularly debates prohibitionist opponents on national television, including on CNN, the Fox News Channel, the Fox Business Network, CNBC, and MSNBC.

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ANNOUNCEMENTS

Register for the 2015 ISFLC by this Friday, October 31st, before prices go up! Current early bird prices are only $20 for general attendees, $10 for students, and free for international students, West Coast students, and Alumni For Liberty Members. On November 1st, prices will increase to $35 for general attendees and $20 for students.

Hotel rooms are quickly filling up at our brand new location, the Marriott Wardman Park! The Marriott Wardman Park is located in the beautiful Woodley Park community near the zoo and many other fun tourist destinations. SFL’s group rate is cheaper than ever before this year! Be close to the conference action all weekend by booking your room today for only $139/night for a double bed – only $35/person if you split a room with three friends. If you prefer to make reservations in our room block via phone, please call 1-877-212-5752 and mention Students For Liberty to ensure you’re getting the special ISFLC rate. Space is limited so book your room today.

Finally, while you’re at it, now is the time to book your travel plans! This year for the first time, we are organizing heavily subsidized bus trips to the ISFLC from 10 different cities for as little as $20/person round trip! Sign up to secure a spot on a bus near you.

If you want to witness the emergence of a more hopeful, outward-focused, results-driven libertarianism, register for the 2015 ISFLC by October 31st before prices increase!

ANNOUNCEMENTS

One of our speakers for the upcoming 2015 ISFLC  on February 13th-15th will be Tom G. Palmer!

Tom G. Palmer is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, and director of Cato University, the Institute’s educational arm. Palmer is also the executive vice president for international programs at the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, and is responsible for establishing operating programs in 14 languages and managing programs for a worldwide network of think tanks. Before joining Cato he was an H. B. Earhart Fellow at Hertford College, Oxford University, and a vice president of the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University. He frequently lectures in North America, Europe, Eurasia, Africa, Latin America, India, China and throughout Asia, and the Middle East on political science, public choice, civil society, and the moral, legal, and historical foundations of individual rights. He has published reviews and articles on politics and morality in scholarly journals such as the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Ethics, Critical Review, and Constitutional Political Economy, as well as in publications such as Slate, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Die Welt, Caixing, Al Hayat, the Washington Post, and The Spectator of London. He is the author of Realizing Freedom: Libertarian Theory, History, and Practice, published in 2009, and the editor of The Morality of Capitalism, published in 2011. Palmer received his B.A. in liberal arts from St. Johns College in Annapolis, Maryland, his M.A. in philosophy from The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., and his doctorate in politics from Oxford University.

Check out the links below to learn more about Palmer’s work:

Cato Reviews & Journals:

Articles

Interviews, Lectures & Videos:

To learn more about Tom G. Palmer, click here and be sure to register  for the 2015 ISFLC by October 31st before prices go up!

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is my pleasure to announce that the 2015 Students For Liberty Alumnus of the Year Award will go to Edward Snowden for initiating a global conversation on the balance of power between governments and peoples that has led to and continues to bring about meaningful reforms to intrusive, abusive, and unjust government surveillance programs.

Like SFL’s previous Alumnus of the Year recipients, Mr. Snowden is not, in fact, an alumnus of Students For Liberty.  Mr. Snowden finished his formal schooling before SFL’s founding in 2008.  We are presenting this award to recognize and honor Mr. Snowden as someone who is no longer a student, but whose commitment to liberty has had a resounding impact upon the world and can serve as an inspiration for others.

Mr. Snowden, a former employee of the CIA and contractor for the NSA, blew the whistle on numerous surveillance programs and activities by the United States and United Kingdom that have been described by one U.S. District Judge as “almost Orwellian” in nature and contain features that are likely to be found unconstitutional.  There have been countless articles published on the revelations Snowden brought to light, governmental inquiries into the legality of the disclosed programs, and public debates regarding the legitimacy of such state conduct.  Such widespread discussion and scrutiny of the state would not have occurred if Mr. Snowden had not chosen to give up the comforts of his established life to call attention to the daily and massive violations of civil liberties taking place, giving the American public (indeed, the entire world) the opportunity to critique and reform them.

The high price that Mr. Snowden has paid for his actions is important to note, as well.  Caring more for the principles of freedom and a public check on the activities of their government, Mr. Snowden now lives in exile, in a country that was not his chosen destination, but one forced upon him by authorities. Before disclosing the information available to him, Mr. Snowden knew that he would be forced to give up the comforts of his regular life, and in the future live as a de facto, if not actual captive, either at home or abroad.  Describing this balance, Mr. Snowden has said:

“I care more about the country than what happens to me. But we can’t allow the law to become a political weapon or agree to scare people away from standing up for their rights, no matter how good the deal. I’m not going to be part of that.”

It is to be expected that some people will disagree with this decision, as Mr. Snowden is a controversial individual.  Critics will likely endorse one of two lines of thought.

The first line of criticism will be for recognizing an individual who broke the law.  However, civil disobedience is not merely something that we ought to accept as a necessary check on the abuses of government, it is one that ought to be revered and admired when used to hold one’s government accountable for its unjust and even illegal activities.

The second line of criticism will be for the potentially damaging consequences to the safety, security, and basic liberties of Americans suffered as a result of Snowden’s actions.  And yet, a year and a half has gone by since the first documents were revealed to the public.  It seems evident that no legitimately sensitive national security information was released to any 3rd parties, nor have there have been any consequential failures in the protection of the United States due to Mr. Snowden’s whistleblowing.  There most certainly are times when national security may legitimately interfere with the normal activities of citizens’ lives and there are times when secrecy is critical to the preservation not only of national security, but of individual rights and liberties, as well.  However, we must also be willing to say that national security and secrecy may not always interfere with the normal activities of citizens’ lives or trump the rights and liberties of individuals in society, as well.

Ultimately, the justification for giving this award to Mr. Snowden is simple: it is the right thing to do.  There has been no individual in the past year who has done more for the cause of liberty than Mr. Snowden.  No summer soldier or sunshine patriot, Mr. Snowden has proven himself to be an individual of impressive character and ability who has made the lives of unknown numbers of individuals freer.

While Mr. Snowden will be unable to join us in person at the 8th Annual International Students For Liberty Conference in Washington, DC from February 13th-15th, 2015 to accept the award for obvious reasons, I hope that Mr. Snowden will still be able to appreciate this well-deserving recognition.

Sincerely,

Alexander McCobin
President and Co-Founder of Students For Liberty

ANNOUNCEMENTS

One of our speakers for the upcoming 2015 International Students For Liberty Conference on February 13th-15th will be Yeon-mi Park!

Yeon-mi Park enjoyed a rich lifestyle by North Korean standards for much of her life, but after her father was imprisoned for selling items to China, Yeonmi was forced to move out of Pyongyang. She escaped to China with her family after her father’s release, eventually making her way through Mongolia to freedom in South Korea. Yeonmi is part of a generation in North Korea that can’t remember a time when the government provided for its people. This generation has very little, if any, loyalty to the Kim regime. On the Casey Lartigue Show with Yeonmi Park, a TV podcast produced in South Korea, she said that because the North Korean people cannot get anything from the government, they must buy what they need from the markets to survive. At Summit, she will speak on this “Black Market Generation,” including their views on North Korea and the outside world, and their increasing consumption of foreign media. Now living in Seoul, Yeonmi studies criminal justice at Dongguk University. Since her freshman year, she has given speeches in both Korean and English to middle school- and high school-aged children about North Korea. Like our other speaker Joo Yang, she also participates in “Now on My Way to Meet You,” a television program that features North Korean women. After graduating, Yeonmi hopes to complete her master’s degree in International Relations in the United States with further ambitions of working with the United Nations and other organizations to spread awareness of North Korean human rights issues.

Check out the links below to learn more about Park’s activism:

Articles:

Media:

Learn more about Yeon-mi Park’s activism here and be sure to register for the 2015 ISFLC by October 31st before prices go up!

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Need one less thing on your to do list? Sign up for the 8th annual International Students For Liberty Conference now before prices go up on November 1st! For this month only, early bird prices are only $20 for general attendees, $10 for students, and free for international students, West Coast students, and Alumni For Liberty Members. On November 1st, prices will increase to $35 for general attendees and $20 for students.

You should also be sure to reserve your room at our brand new location, the Marriot Wardman Park, before we run out! The Marriot Wardman Park is located in the beautiful Woodley Park community near the zoo and many other fun tourist destinations. SFL’s group rate is cheaper than ever before this year! Be close to the conference action all weekend by booking your room today for only $139/night for a double bed – only $35/person if you split a room with three friends! If you prefer to make reservations in our room block via phone, please call 1-877-212-5752 and mention Students For Liberty to ensure you’re getting the special ISFLC rate.

Finally, while you’re at it, now is the time to book your travel plans! This year for the first time, we are organizing heavily subsidized bus trips to the ISFLC from 10 different cities for as little as $20/person round trip! Sign up to secure a spot on a bus near you here.