A student organization with chapters in Illinois is launching a new petition drive to end what it calls the “endless pandemic.”
Young Americans for Liberty (YAL), with chapters at several Illinois colleges, including Illinois State University, SIU and NIU, is trying to rally students, faculty and alumni to stand up for an “America where you can walk freely and make your own decisions.”
“There is still no end in sight, let alone these lockdowns that have put people out of work, destroyed businesses and opportunities and made horrible impacts on mental health, especially for young people,” Chief of Staff Sean Themea said.
Since the onset of the pandemic, the organization has fought COVID-19 vaccine mandates on 23 college campuses.
YAL said they had a chapter at Western Illinois University, but a spokesperson disputes the claim.
“Western does not have a registered student organization known as YAL,” Darcia Shinberger said.
As for COVID-19 guidelines, Shinberger issued the following statement.
“We follow local, state and federal, including CDC, guidelines in making and enforcing our policies. WIU will continue to make decisions for the safety and well-being of our university community based on guidance from health officials at the local, state and federal levels.”
YAL has also influenced policymaking at the state level, rallying legislators to fight back against COVID-19 restrictions. Members of YAL’s Hazlitt Coalition, the organization's network of more than 170 legislators from nearly 40 states, have filed 25 bills defending citizens' rights against covid-related measures.
The petition, expected to garner 100,000 signatures, will be promoted on social media and circulated on college campuses around the country.