Join a Student Group

If you're not happy with the direction of the country and you want to take back your future, at some point you will have to do something. It's not enough to just know that we're going in the wrong direction. You actually have to step out and get involved.

Most college campuses have conservative and libertarian student groups. Find one of them to join.

Below is a list of some of the larger non-profit groups out there fighting for freedom on campuses across the country. These groups help students in a variety of ways, such as through training, by bringing in speakers, offering activism tools, scholarships, and more.

Click for more details:
Bureaucrash
CampusReform.org

Collegiate Network
Institute for Humane Studies
Intercollegiate Studies Institute
Leadership Institute
Network of enlightened Women (NeW)
Students for Liberty (SFL)

Bureaucrash - "Bureaucrash is an international network of activists, called crashers, who share the goal of increasing individual freedom and decreasing the scope of government. Through Bureaucrash Social, crashers connect and collaborate on ways to use guerrilla marketing and new media to introduce others to the ideas of individual liberty, personal responsibility, and free markets. In short, we fight for freedom."

CampusReform.org - "CampusReform.org is designed to provide conservative activists with the resources, networking capabilities, and skills they need to revolutionize the struggle against leftist bias and abuse on college campuses.

Created to give conservatives powerful new weapons in their fight for the hearts and minds of the next generation of citizens, politicians, and members of the media, CampusReform.org facilitates the establishment of conservative student networks and supports their development as a powerful voice of activism on their campuses. It makes available new opportunities for groups’ interaction with alumni, parents, faculty, and other members of the broader community interested in taking a stand for conservative principles on America’s college campuses.

Connecting up-to-date communications technologies to a principled stand for limited government, the free market, national defense, and traditional values, CampusReform.org makes possible a new generation of student activism to identify, expose, and combat the radical left now."

Collegiate Network - "For more than 25 years, the Collegiate Network has supported independent college newspapers that serve to focus public awareness on the politicization of American college and university classrooms, curricula, student life, and the resulting decline of educational standards. Each year over 100 papers across the country enjoy the benefits of a membership with the Collegiate Network, and the number continues to grow. CN member papers have earned reputations for both in-depth reporting and witty commentary. They serve to raise the level of discourse on the campus and provide an outlet for students to keep university faculty and administrations honest. Many prominent journalists have got their start by working for a CN paper."

Institute for Humane Studies (IHS) - "Today, with a primary focus on students, the Institute continues the work begun by Baldy Harper. The mission of IHS is to support the achievement of a freer society by discovering and facilitating the development of talented, productive students, scholars, and other intellectuals who share an interest in liberty and who demonstrate the potential to help change the current climate of opinion to one more congenial to the principles and practice of freedom.

Each year IHS awards over $600,000 in scholarships to students from universities around the world. IHS also sponsors the attendance of hundreds of students at its summer seminars and provides various forms of career assistance. Through these and other programs, the Institute promotes the study of liberty across a broad range of disciplines, encouraging understanding, open inquiry, rigorous scholarship, and creative problem-solving."

Intercollegiate Studies Institute - "The Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) is a non-profit, non-partisan, tax-exempt educational organization whose purpose is to further in successive generations of college youth a better understanding of the values and institutions that sustain a free and humane society.

Founded in 1953, ISI works 'to educate for liberty' — to identify the best and the brightest college students and to nurture in these future leaders the American ideal of ordered liberty. To accomplish this goal, ISI seeks to enhance the rising generation's knowledge of our nation's founding principles — limited government, individual liberty, personal responsibility, the rule of law, market economy, and moral norms.

Leadership Institute - "The Leadership Institute’s mission is to increase the number and effectiveness of conservative activists and leaders in the public policy process. To accomplish this mission, the Institute identifies, recruits, trains, and places conservatives in government, politics, and the media.

Founded in 1979 by its president, Morton C. Blackwell, the Leadership Institute (LI) teaches conservatives the nuts and bolts of how to succeed in the public policy process.

The Institute strives to produce a new generation of public policy leaders unwavering in their commitment to free enterprise, limited government, strong national defense, and traditional values. Institute graduates are equipped with practical skills and professional training to implement sound principles through effective public policy."

Network of enlightened Women (NeW) - "NeW is the nation's premier club for conservative university women. Started as a book club at the University of Virginia in 2004, NeW aims to cultivate a community of conservative women and expand intellectual diversity on university campuses through its focus on education. NeW members meet regularly to discuss issues relating to politics, gender and conservative principles. NeW has expanded to over  twenty colleges nationwide.

NeW has chapters on the following campuses: Arizona College of Law, Arizona State University, College of William and Mary, Emory College of Law, Florida State University, Indiana University, Meredith College, North Carolina State University, Ohio State University, Purdue University, Smith College, The King’s College, University of Central Florida, University of Dallas, University of Florida, University of Idaho, University of Kentucky, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Tampa (MBA Program), University of Virginia, and the University of Virginia Law."

Students for Liberty (SFL) - "The philosophy of liberty is in jeopardy today. The older generations have let us down, and there seem to be few short-term solutions. Our hope for a free society lies in the future. The best investment one can make to promote liberty today is in the youth, particularly in students.

Students are in a unique position that makes them open to the ideas of liberty. Academia is an environment premised on a belief in debate and inquiry where all ideas are welcome to be presented and inspected by each individual. Students have not fully formulated their beliefs and so are interested in inquiring into different world views. But without support from their academic or peer groups, there is no hope for students to consider the ideas of liberty as viable alternatives to authoritarianism.

There are two types of students who enter college: those who are unfamiliar with the ideas of liberty and those who already believe in liberty. Many students have never read Locke’s Second Treatise, Bastiat’s The Law, or even the Declaration of Independence beyond the quote 'Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness'. What these students need is exposure to the principles of liberty that underscore a prosperous society. The second group of students enter academia with the hope of developing a greater understanding of their beliefs, yet that they so often are beaten down to the point where they give up on their belief in liberty and never develop their potential to further the cause or support the philosophy.

The problem is significant, but the solution is clear: There is a need for an organization to counter the climate of authoritarianism on campus by directly supporting students dedicated to liberty.  

SFL provides a year-round forum of support with consulting services, networking, and various resources to students and student organizations."

More About This Topic...

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Quote Page

Commentary or Blog Post

People say that suburban and exurban housing growth is offset by a move to the cities. Wendell Cox looks at empirical data to prove that this is not the case, and deduces that people still tend to move to suburbia when they relocate.

This is a list of ten things wrong with suburban sprawl and how it can be fought under smart growth. A useful article that is very concise for understanding the anti-sprawl position.

These two authors join to write an article that comes to the conclusion that by adding more government regulations to land use, it will add to the "push" factors that are already in place as one of the reasons to move from the city to the suburbs and exurbs. People want to protect their property rights, and they should be allowed that freedom.

This article looks at policies in place for growth regulation and compares them to effectiveness. The authors find that the growth regulations impose costs too high, which leads to minority displacement and high housing costs for buyers.

"[T]he way environment and transportation patterns were built caused many of America's public health problems. [The researchers started] with the premise that the best way to combat an obesity epidemic, diabetes, and their attendant health problems (and health spending) is to encourage walking and physical activity--New Urbanist principles would help accomplish...

"Michael Lewyn's article Sprawl in Europe and America attempts to demonstrate that suburbanization (pejoratively called 'sprawl') is not, as Robert Bruegmann suggests, a predictable result of increasing wealth. He further indicates that suburbanization occurs only to a 'limited extent' in Europe. Bruegmann's authoritative...

"This is our first stop in a thought leadership series that discusses the current state of transportation infrastructure and explores future funding solutions. In 'Falling Behind,' we examine how today's investments are not meeting the growing needs of the U.S. transportation system, creating a gap that will continue to grow if action isn't taken."

"It is well known that the largest percentage losses in house prices occurred early in the housing bubble in inland California, Sacramento and Riverside-San Bernardino, Las Vegas and Phoenix. These were the very southwestern areas that housing refugees fled to in search of less unaffordable housing in California's coastal metropolitan areas (Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and San Jose...

Rick Harrison designed 'Prefurbia' as an alternative to smart growth planning that is an attempt to fix some of the errors that occur now with land use regulations.

An answer to the question "What is Smart Growth?" given by the NewUrbanism.org site. It is a good starting place for research on this topic from the New Urbanism perspective.

"VISION

The Congress for the New Urbanism will reinforce the relationship between the art of building, the making of community, and the conservation of the natural world. It will reform the practice of community building to restore existing urban centers and towns, create coherent metropolitan regions, reconfigure sprawling suburbs into...

This piece comments on the growing popularity of sustainability majors on college campuses. According to Annesty, students who pursue sustainability degrees are experienced in applying effective environmental practices to the...

Chris Fiscelli believes that the issue of sprawl is much more complicated than many people make it appear at first. He looks at sprawl under an economic lens, and believes that it is illogical to fight sprawl by building new public transit and other works that people do not use. He proposes a look at basic math concepts like orders of operations, like fixing the current problems of policy...

This article shows that people are not moving in large numbers to the city like planners wish because people prefer to live in single homes where they are affordable. He shows that around 80% of Americans would prefer to live in suburbia, and explores why this fact is.

"The collapse in the housing market and high gasoline prices are bad news for middle-class homeowners left to sift through the wreckage. But if there is consolation to be found amid the rubble, it may be that the inexorable spreading out that has characterized American life since World War II might finally be coming to an end. Given the connections between car-dependent suburban development...

"Decades of white flight transformed America's cities. That era is drawing to a close.

In Washington, a historically black church is trying to attract white members to survive. Atlanta's next mayoral race is expected to feature the first competitive white candidate since the 1980s. San Francisco has lost so many African-Americans that Mayor Gavin Newsom created an 'African-American Out-...

Samuel Staley looks at the issue of sprawl and deduces that it is not being dealt with in the correct manner.  He looks at the problems sprawl is said to begin and then shows how they are being presented in an incorrect manner.  He writes that, "an analysis of land-use trends at the national and state levels reveals:

  1. Suburbanization and sprawl are local issues....

"Back in 2008, I ran this updated chart of the Case Shiller Housing Price Index by BP reader Steve Barry. It was widely reproduced around the web....

I asked Steve to update Shiller’s NYT chart, now that much of the government intervention has run its course. There is still massive Federal Reserve subsidies in the form of record low rates. But the short term bounce caused by HAMP,...

"Numerous articles have been written in the Rockford Register Star about urbanization of the Rockford downtown with the creative class, construction of artist live-work lofts, a school of art, galleries and expanded music venues, etc.  One such group of downtown advocates, The Element, is pursuing their goals by seeking $75,000 in TIF district funding at...

"Despite these failures, governments continue to plan. Almost every city and county in the country has a planning department. More than a dozen states have passed laws requiring local governments to write comprehensive land-use plans that place strict limits on how people can use their property. Congress has passed numerous laws requiring federal agencies to plan, including the National...

Chart or Graph

The pace of home values would indicate a housing boom the size of which has not been seen in over 100 years.

"As figure 1.1(A) shows, average developed land per capita in the United States increased from 0.32 acres in 1982 to 0.38 acres in 2002...."

"Cropland used for crops—cropland harvested, cropland failure, and cultivated summer fallow—totaled 340 million acres, or 77 percent of total cropland acreage (table 1)."

"There is an inverse relationship between two of the components of total cropland: as idled cropland increases, cropland used for crops decreases, and vice versa."

"The NRI indicates a net decline in cultivated and uncultivated cropland area of 8 million acres between 1997 and 2002 (table 3)."

Major land use by state showing each state's share of land-use.

"Land-use patterns vary greatly by region, reflecting differences in soils, climate, topography, and patterns of population settlement."

"The most consistent trends in major uses of land (1945-2002) have been an upward trend in special-use and urban areas and a downward trend in total grazing lands...."

"The United States has a land area of about 2.3 billion acres, which is allocated among a variety of uses (fig. 1)."

"Land classified as cropland totaled about 442 million acres in 2002 (fig. 1). This total represents all land in crop rotation, including cropland pasture (fig. 2)."

This article looks at the difference between median house price changes and compares the price change to the city's growth policy initiatives. She found all but 13 of the top 50 cities had smart growth initiatives tied to a falling median home price in the United States.

"Figure 1.2 illustrates how population and income growth have helped to drive up land consumption and reduce development densities."

"If the population were evenly distributed, the spatial Gini coefficient would be zero; if the population were concentrated in a single zone, it would be one."

This graph shows that the urban land area has stagnated over time, but the suburban land area has grown steadily.

"Land in farmsteads, farm roads, and farm lanes accounted for 11 million acres in 2002."

"However, land classed under rural housing lots could also be classed as forests or grassland pasture and range, particularly given the prevalence of large lots that could serve multiple uses (fig. 7)."

This graph shows that the urban population has stagnated over time, but the suburban population has grown steadily.

Analysis Report White Paper

An overview of many different types of land use regulation used by the different states. There are policies in place in all fifty states, so the question here is what the best type of regulation is, not if regulation is needed or not needed.

"This publication presents the results of the latest (2002) inventory of U.S. major land uses, drawing on data from the Census, public land management and conservation agencies, and other sources."

This piece is a case study example of sprawl in a city in Texas. The city was planned in the 90s and is a popular place to live now. The author, who is the director of operations for Plum Creek, believes the community is an example of the buyer's approval of New Urbanism.

An article that shows concern over Obama's remarks on urban sprawl and how he would like to see it fixed. The main concern is the inability for the government to have a true effect on growth management, as shown by past attempts in the United States to limit growth.

This article looks at the similarities and differences of suburban sprawl in Europe and the United States. The author looks at the Inevitable Theory, which states that affluent people in affluent nations want to live in suburbia and that sprawl is inevitable. He tries to disprove this theory in his paper.

"Proponents of compact development argue that rebuilding American urban areas to higher densities is vital for reducing greenhouse gas emissions."

This article provides a quick overview of the history of urbanization. The paper begins by looking at the history of the city to the inception of large scale urbanization.

Randal O'Toole writes that New Urbanism is not helping with the problems it is supposed to, but rather is making for more expensive housing and creates economic problems and these regulations should be repealed.

As the title suggests, this piece traces the roots of the sustainability movement and details the various areas that the sustainability mindset especially affects.

An analysis that looks at the belief that urbanization is hurting America's farmland. Staley finds that there are other reasons that farmland is being lost, mainly inefficient public policy across the nation.

"Despite the widespread adoption of smart growth principles ..., there has been little systematic assessment of their effectiveness or consequences."

"Overall, it seems clear to us that Americans are better off than they were prior to the rise of sprawling cities, largely because urban sprawl has created opportunities for significantly higher levels of housing and land consumption for most households."

Video/Podcast/Media

"Robert Bruegmann talks about his path-breaking book Sprawl: A Compact History, lauded as the 'first major book to strip urban sprawl of its pejorative connotations.'  What in the world – or at least in the suburbs – possessed him?

'Virtually overnight,' he writes, 'the anti-sprawl reformers' new catchphrase "smart growth" seemed to be everywhere.  It appeared as...

This video was the winner of The Congress for New Urbanism CNU 17 video contest.

"This short film explores the connection between New Urbanism and environmental issues."

"Ellen Dunham-Jones takes you through retrofitted suburbia, transforming dead malls into buzzing downtown centers."

Bruegmann speaks about a variety of planning issues and how we need to rethink government's role in city design. While he doesn't advocate for a complete free market system, he does argue that government's role needs to be reduced and that other groups and individuals can fill the void left by government and, in fact, do a better job by improving aesthetics, building emotional buy-in,...

Primary Document

CNU members ratified the Charter of the New Urbanism at CNU's fourth annual Congress in 1996. Applying valuable lessons from the past to the modern world, it outlines principles for building better communities, from the scale of the region down to the block. View also the Canons of Sustainable Architecture and Urbanism...

One of the government agencies that is in charge of helping local governments begin smart growth initiatives is the United States' Environmental Protection Agency. The Agency believes that the, "EPA helps communities grow in ways that expand economic opportunity, protect public health and the environment, and create and enhance the places that people love. Through research, tools, partnerships...

"'Last year, Congress took major steps to reduce global warming pollution, passing sweeping legislation to increase vehicle fuel efficiency to 35 miles per gallon by the year 2020. The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the year 2020 alone will be the equivalent of taking 28 million of today's cars and trucks off the road.

'But it is not enough to improve vehicle efficiency and...

Books

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