Chapin brings college Libertarian club to UA

Katherine Martin

The University of Alabama will add a campus Libertarian club to its list of student organizations starting at the end of July, founder Jon Chapin said.

Chapin, a junior majoring in political science and anthropology, said he is organizing an informal meeting the last week of July at the Ferguson Center.

At the meeting, Chapin said the club will adopt a constitution, select officers and get organized for Get on Board day.

Chapin said CadeAnn Smith, chairperson for College Republicans, gave him the idea to start the Libertarian club.

“It was as if I was struck by lightening,” Chapin said. “’What a great idea,’ I thought.”

Chapin said the main idea of Libertarianism is for people to exercise sole dominion over their own lives and the right to live in whatever manner they choose, just as long as they don’t forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose.

“We believe that the government should be pro-economic freedom as well as pro-personal freedom,” Chapin said.

Where the Republican Party is pro-economic freedom, Chapin said, they are not pro-personal freedom, and the Democratic Party is pro-personal freedom, but they are not pro-economic freedom.

“We take the best of both worlds and merge it into one,” Chapin said.

Rachel Bonner, a senior majoring in anthropology, said the Libertarian club will allow her to explore and become more involved in politics.

“For me, a college Libertarian group is a chance to get more opinions out there, to get more people involved, and hopefully foster more dialogue and maybe some fun debate,” Bonner said.

Regular monthly meetings starting in the fall will consist of members discussing any issues they feel are important and have a small lecture on Libertarian principals for any who want to attend, Chapin said.

Currently, there are 29 members on the Facebook group Chapin set up.

“What we deem as a member is anyone who shares our political views and is a student here at UA,” Chapin said. “You do not have to come to regular meetings and pay the very minimal dues that we will establish.”

Chapin said he wants the club to become a permanent member of the Capstone.

“I hope by creating a Campus Libertarian club it will reach out, teach young people the values of economic and personal freedom, and make them realize that they do not have to go far right of far left to be a part of the political spectrum,” he said.

Those who want to join the club, Chapin said, should contact him through Facebook via the Campus Libertarians at the University of Alabama group or email him at BamaCampusLibertarians@gmail.com.

Chapin said the club is a great way to get involved if you are disillusioned with the Democrats and Republicans.

“Come out and learn a little more if you’re interested,” Chapin said. “It’s a great way to meet people who share your views.”