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Political advocacy group coordinates Ron Paul visit for October

POSTED AT 12:29 AM ON Sep. 8, 2010 

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Texas Rep. Ron Paul, R-14th District, will visit IU this October following aggressive petitioning by the student-run organization Young Americans for Liberty at IU.

The talk will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 25 at the IU Auditorium. The event is free and open to
the public.

“He’d go to Arizona, Ohio State,” said junior Sam Spaiser, president of the group. “We wanted to know how they got him there. I started e-mailing the Young Americans for Liberty headquarters, asking ‘How did they get Ron Paul?’”

Spaiser said the group obtained 700 signatures in the span of two months to petition for Paul’s visit, and after receiving 1,000, it was “locked up.”

The lecture, Spaiser said, will focus on Paul’s main political platform and the group’s basic principles, including the Constitution, role of government and foreign policy.

IU’s chapter of Young Americans for Liberty, Spaiser said, has grown considerably since Paul’s presidential run in 2008.

“It used to be six, seven people,” he said. “Slowly it started to build up. Last fall at the call-out meeting we had at least 50 people. We’ve seen that momentum really hold up.”

Paul said he has never been to Bloomington but is excited by the passion of the students who requested his visit.

“Young people are starting to realize what they are inheriting is a mess,” Paul said. “I’ve been very pleased that so many college kids are interested. There is a lot more interest today because of the financial crisis.”

The congressman, who has been in and out of political office since 1976, ran for president in 1988 and again in 2008.

The longtime politician said students can be involved in government by staying informed and being active voters.

“It’s important for students to get interested and deal with problems,” Paul said. “I encourage education. It’s an educational problem. I emphasize the understanding of economic policy, the Constitution, the role of government.”

But his biggest piece of advicefor students? Be independent and productive, he said.

“Take care of yourself, study, learn, be productive,” he said. “If you take care of yourself, you are never a burden — this will help everybody. Study economics, find out what is in your best interest.”

Sophomore Chris Babcock, secretary for IU College Democrats, said while the congressman’s visit may not appeal to the “mainstream voter,” his group appreciates all views on campus.

“At a public university, even far out views are welcome for discussion,” Babcock said. “As far as his son running for senator in Kentucky, I don’t know what his visit is in relation to that.”

IU College Democrats, Babcock said, are also in works to bring speakers to IU’s campus and are organizing various debates for students to attend.

Staying active in politics, he said, is never bad — whether in the democratic or
republican parties.

“Students should keep an open mind and look into different issues,” Babcock said. “Stay involved, be involved, whether that’s seeing Ron Paul or going to our debates. They are all great ways to get involved regardless of your views. Student engagement is important.”

Spaiser said he believes the speech will attract people from far away and be pertinent to a wide range of people of different ages and backgrounds.

“I think his message is spot on. Everything he talks about is geared toward students,” he said. “Anyone can come, even if they don’t believe in
his policies.”

 

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