Campus News

YAL protests gov’t debt with dunk tank

By: Erica Lampert ~Staff Writer~

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Newswire photo by Jessica Bannon | Students voiced their discontent with government debt by participating in a dunk tank, full with students in presidential costume.

The national debt has grown to more than over $18 trillion. With the dunking of a fake Barack Obama and George Bush, Young American’s for Liberty (YAL) hopes to bring attention to this issue for all of Xavier’s students.

“It’s an important topic for all students to know about because we are the ones who will have to deal with the effects of these unsound policies,” Kevin Mulcrone, President of YAL, said. “Each U.S. taxpayer would have to pay over $150,000 to cover the current national debt, and this doesn’t account for unfunded programs like Social Security. Our parents are going to be retiring soon, so it’s ultimately our generation that is going to have to flip the bill.”

YAL created the dunk tank event to help bring attention to the issue of the national debt and to encourage other students to join the club if they disagree with the current politics in the U.S. “I’d encourage every student who is turned off by politics and government, or wants to learn more to come to one of our meetings and see what we’re about,” Mulcrone said.

The dunk tank has been used by several college campuses around the world as a tool for activism. YAL was able to hold this event at Xavier due to a grant from the Leadership Institute. “It’s a great idea because it’s a fun and engaging way to bring students’ attention to the country’s national debt, a topic that politicians, academics and pundits in both parties rarely talk about,” Mulcrone said.

Members of YAL dressed up as Barack Obama and George Bush and were dunked in the dunk tank. Any student could participate by donating a dollar to receive five chances to dunk one of the U.S. presidents. “We’re excited to talk with our classmates about this issue and get them thinking about how it affects them. We also think it will be a great opportunity to promote our club and get other students to join,” Mulcrone said. Y

AL is one of the largest, most active and fastest-growing proliberty organizations on America’s college campuses, with more than 600 chapters and 204,000 youth activists nationwide. The goal of the organization is to identify, educate, train and mobilize young people who are committed to liberty. Xavier’s YAL is encouraging all students to join, or at least participate in, the events that they will be hosting this fall.

“We are trying to build up our membership base this year by identifying and engaging as many students as possible through these events. I’d like this club to be one of the most active on campus and to give students an outlet to learn about issues that really matter,” Mulcrone said. In October, YAL is planning a “Civil Liberties Graveyard” to coincide with Halloween. In November they are also planning a “Choose Charity” event to promote private charity over government welfare. Before finals, they are holding an “Occupy the Honor Roll” to get the students to think about the morality of redistributing wealth.

“We have a bunch of other events planned for second semester too that will address the War on Drugs, Foreign Policy, Incarceration, the TSA and Free Speech,” Mulcrone said. Following Tuesday’s event, there will be a meeting from 7 to 9 p.m. on Sept. 24 in GSC 214. All Xavier students are welcome to come and share their ideas for liberty with the group.

“Even though Young Americans for Liberty deals with political issues, we are not a political club,” Mulcrone said. “We are a club about ideas. In our meetings and during our activism, we don’t talk about how Donald Trump, or Jeb Bush, or Hilary Clinton, or Bernie Sanders are doing in the polls because in many respects they are the same – they’re for more government and less liberty.”