LISTEN TO TLR’S LATEST PODCAST:
By Ian Tartt
For many students, the school year has just ended or will be ending soon. That means a lot of recent high school graduates will be starting college in the fall. For libertarians, college campuses rarely provide a welcoming environment, but there are things you can do to improve your situation. Here are some suggestions on how to stand strong in your libertarian views at college.
1. Join a Libertarian Club
Perhaps the easiest thing you can do is join a libertarian club. If your college doesn’t have one, why not start one yourself? A club is a great way to connect with people who have similar interests; seeing as how libertarians are an endangered species on most college campuses, most of them would probably appreciate a place where they can hang out and discuss their ideas. Clubs also create the possibility of friendships forming between members, which would help you feel more welcome on the campus since you’d have friends who’d have your back.
2. Participate in Organized Debates
No, not the kinds of “debates” that consist of people yelling and calling each other names. Actual, structured debates. Most colleges have some type of debate club or society. That presents a lot of great opportunities to get the message of liberty out there to the audience as well as your opponents (you may end up winning some of them over even if you don’t win the debate). Participating in structured debates will also help make you a better messenger. If you’re already good at articulating the message, then your participation will take your skills to the next level.
3. Get Involved in Non-Libertarian Activities
Libertarians are often viewed in a negative light. One possible way to change that perception is to get to know people so that they can see for themselves that you’re not crazy, heartless, or whatever other negative label libertarians tend to get. Most colleges have plenty of athletic, academic, and niche organizations and activities. This doesn’t mean you have to take part in something you don’t like; with all the available options, you should be able to easily find several that you enjoy. Once you’ve participated in these activities for a while, you’ll be in a better position to present libertarian ideas to your fellow participants than you’d be if they didn’t know you well.