Libertarian college students from across the Southeast will descend on Chapel Hill for the first time this weekend.
About 150 will convene at the University for one of the fifth annual Students For Liberty regional conferences.
“It’s going to be a busy weekend for us,” said Megan Roberts, communications manager for Students for Liberty.
“I am excited to see how the conference in Chapel Hill goes,” she said. “This is our third time in North Carolina, but our first time at UNC.”
It is intended to bring together not only libertarians, but also students from all affiliations to discuss grassroots politics, economic planning, student activism and community organizing.
“Students for Liberty runs conferences all across the country and all across the world every fall,” said David Deerson, co-president of UNC’s chapter of Young Americans for Liberty and the Southeast regional director for Students for Liberty.
Since its creation in 2008, Students for Liberty has held regional conferences every fall, which help students network and build connections.
This year’s conference, which is free and open to the public, will include two keynote speakers — David Boaz and Fred Smith.
Boaz, the executive vice president of the libertarian-leaning Cato Institute, will discuss political topics, policy issues and philosophical stances in order to grow and improve the libertarian movement.
Smith, president and founder of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, another libertarian organization, will also talk about social and foreign policy.
In addition to the two keynote speeches, conference activities include student leadership panels and activism training.
“Student leadership panels will teach students how to be effective leaders — how to be more active, loud and present on campus,” Roberts said.
Everett Lozzi, N.C. state chairman of Young Americans for Liberty and co-president of UNC’s chapter, said the chapter, which will participate in the conference, is growing in size and in involvement.
Every year, participation in the organization steadily increases, he said.
“We’ve gone from having five members to 20 to 25 members at meetings who are actively engaged,” said Lozzi, who is also a columnist for The Daily Tar Heel.
He said libertarian organizations are trying to change the political dialogue through conferences like this.
“The more that we can learn from each conference, the stronger we will be,” Lozzi said.
“The Young Dems and the College Republicans — any political organizations — really have learned a lot over time and are more organized.
“That’s how you win.”
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