Thinking for themselves:

by Kelly Sullivan

Horizon Reporter

Although Young Americans for Liberty is just starting off this quarter, there is no lack of experience in the members of the first political club to be recognized on Whatcom’s campus.

The club is Libertarian minded, which means they strive for more individual freedoms and less government involvement. The goal of the club is to allow its members to “think critically of big government and less influence in opinion and influence by corporate media,” said club president and Whatcom student Johnny Weaver, 27.

Whatcom’s YAL is one of over 500 chapters across the country. Each one is unique to its college campus because of the individuality of the students who run it.

Weaver said YAL doesn’t endorse candidates. “We endorse ideas,” he said. The goal is to “present opportunities to young students who want to get involved in politics,” he added.

Weaver originally founded Whatcom’s chapter at the end of last quarter. This was after he experienced opposition from Whatcom staff when trying to post information on local activism on campus, because he was not affiliated with a club.

Weaver said he grew up with a strong interest in, what he feels are “control mechanisms,” which he described as political and religious institutions, which set limits on large groups of people. He said he is constantly educating himself on the systems and tactics used by our government.

“I’m just really interested in figuring out what is going on,” he said. “I feel too many people just believe what they’re told.”

This has played a role in the characteristics of Whatcom’s chapter. For example, the dominant emphasis on the importance of personal education.

Weaver said he created a chapter of YAL instead of an unaffiliated club, because the larger group provides more opportunity for nationwide contact and connections. YAL club presidents report to each other what is working and not working in their individual chapters, and learn from each other.

Weaver has been involved in social and political activism for about five years.

The club already consists of about five “very motivated members,” Weaver said adding that there has been a strong interest from about 30 to 40 students across campus.

The club plans for weekly meetings that will consist of discussions, planning for events, and speakers.

YAL presented a strong turnout at Bellingham’s Tea Party on April 15. On June 7, starting at 3 p.m. in Syre 105, YAL will be showing “Freedom to Fascism.” The film covers a variety of current issues such as income tax laws, the Federal Reserve and national ID cards.

The club can be contacted at

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