North America:
February 2017 Update

Martin van Staden
South Africa
March 6, 2017
UC Berkeley Students Organize in Support of Free Speech
March 6, 2017


SFL North America


The 10th annual International Students For Liberty Conference saw nearly 1,500 young libertarians descend upon Washington, DC to celebrate the ideas of liberty and work towards a freer future. It is truly inspiring to see so many people expressing their passion for liberty and working together to advance a worthy cause. To those who were there, it was an honor to host you. And for those who weren’t there, we hope you can join us next year for another excellent ISFLC.

This year, we had a vast array of speakers including Steve Forbes, Jonathan Haidt, Senator Rand Paul, and CrossFit CEO Greg Glassman.

You can find some video recordings from ISFLC17 on our YouTube channel, including an exclusive two-part interview with the musical group BackWordz.

For more on ISFLC17, please refer to this post. Again, thank you to everyone who helped make this an amazing experience; we can’t wait to see you at the next ISFLC!

Annual Awards

At ISFLC17, we were pleased to award some of our most dedicated students and groups for their hard work in furthering not just Students For Liberty, but freedom everywhere.

SFL Hyderabad took home Group of the Year (you can follow them on Facebook here), Ethan Pritchard from College Park Students For Liberty (Maryland, United States) won Student of the Year, and Bosnian SFL won Event of the Year for the OPEN Festival.

Click here for the live-stream of awards being announced. 

We also introduced a new award, Artist of the Year, which went to Lara Cochetel for her short video “Munitionnettes” and we named Dr. Tom G. Palmer as this year’s Alumnus of the Year, a well deserved honor for one of SFL’s best and oldest friends.


Not even a week after ISFLC17, the Conservative Political Action Conference came to town. We were one of the few groups representing libertarianism at CPAC, so we stood out a little bit. Our Nanny State display caught the eye of many people, which in turn brought attention to our booth. At a conference that seemed less about the philosophical foundations of conservative thought and more about celebrating Donald Trump and the GOP’s recently-gained control of the federal government, it was reassuring to see that even in this new political climate, libertarian ideas retain their attractive power. These ideas are here to stay.

Media Attention

With two big conferences back-to-back, Students For Liberty received a fair amount of media coverage in February. Among other topics, articles included a focus on how libertarianism offers hope in today’s polarized world and other articles discussed the notable lack of libertarians at this year’s CPAC. Our CEO, Wolf von Laer, appeared on the popular Free Thoughts podcast where he discussed the state of the student liberty movement around the world. To see more of our media attention from February, you can find a detailed report in this post.

Speak Freely

We ended the rapid-fire month of February by launching our Speak Freely Strike Team, a program designed to empower students to defend free speech on their campus and in their community. In these days, free speech has been under fire from multiple fronts and we intend to combat that. The Speak Freely activism grant of $250 will give students an opportunity to host speakers, screen films, organize protests, and petition their university to change free speech codes for the better. Stay tuned for more developments on Speak Freely in the coming days!

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