Monday, January 01, 2001

About us

Mission statement The mission of the Columbia University Libertarians is to promote, through educational and political activity, the principles of libertarianism.

Membership Membership is open to all students, alumni, faculty and staff of Columbia University and its affiliated schools.

Mailing list To join our mailing list, send an email to majordomo@columbia.edu, with a blank subject and this in the message body: subscribe libertarians-all

Meetings Meetings are held during the fall and spring semesters and anyone interested is encouraged to stop by.

The Constitution of the Columbia University Libertarians

 Preamble

We, the students of Columbia University, freely establish this body to further the cause of liberty at Columbia University in the City of New York.

Article I – Membership

Section I – The Columbia University Libertarians shall be comprised of students, faculty, staff, and alumni of Columbia University who support the cause of freedom or who wish to discover more about the principles on which it is founded.

Section II – Membership may be confirmed by attendance of a Columbia University Libertarians Meeting, and registration at the same with a Member of the Executive Board.

Section III – There are no dues for Membership. However, an admission fee may be charged at Columbia University Libertarians-sponsored events.

Section IV – Membership may be terminated upon the request of the Member, or when the Member is expelled by the vote of two-thirds of the registered Members of the Columbia University Libertarians.

Section V – Only registered Members are eligible to vote in Elections of the Executive Board. New Members may not vote on the same day that they register.

Article II – Officers

Section I – Executive power in the Columbia University Libertarians shall be vested in an Executive Board. Where appropriate, the Executive Board shall make decisions on the basis of a majority vote.

Section II – The Voting Members of the Executive Board shall consist of a President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and Secretary. Other positions may be created as deemed necessary by a majority decision of the Executive Board. These positions will become Non-Voting Members of the Executive Board.

Section III – All Voting Members of the Executive Board will be elected to one-year terms by the registered Members of the Columbia University Libertarians. Elections will be held no later than May of every year. Members of the Executive Board will begin their terms following the conclusion of the academic term.

Section IV – The President of the Columbia University Libertarians shall preside over Meetings, and act as representative of the Columbia University Libertarians in all matters of governance, negotiation, and representation.
Section V – The Vice-President shall perform the duties of the President in the absence of the President, and perform any other duties as may be delegated by the majority vote of the Executive Board.

Section VI – The Treasurer shall keep Columbia University funds, make disbursements of the same as directed by the majority vote of the Executive Board, and maintain detailed records of the Columbia University Libertarians’ revenues, expenditures, and encumbrances. The Treasurer shall provide a general budget statement upon request of a majority vote of the Executive Board, or a two-thirds request of the registered Members of the Columbia University Libertarians. The Treasurer shall perform any other duties as may be delegated by the majority vote of the Executive Board.

Section VII – The Secretary shall keep minutes of the Meetings, maintain records of all Columbia University Libertarians’ activities or correspondence, and any other duties as may be delegated by the majority vote of the Executive Board.

Section VIII – Voting Members of the Executive Board may be recalled from office by a two-thirds vote of the registered Members of the Columbia University Libertarians. In the event of a Vacancy in the Executive Board, the President may temporarily appoint a Member to the seat until a special Election, which shall occur at a time chose by a majority vote of the Executive Board. The special Election shall conclude no more than three weeks after the Vacancy while the University is in session. If the Vacancy occurs when the University is not in sessions, the special Election shall conclude no more than three weeks after the University reconvenes.

Article III – Meetings

Section I – The Columbia University Libertarians and the Executive Board shall meet no less than once a month during the academic term, at a date and time determined by a majority vote of the Executive Board.

Section II – A Quorum of the Columbia University Libertarians shall be established by no less than three registered Members of the Columbia University Libertarians, provided that at least one is a Voting Member of the Executive Board. A Quorum of the Executive Board shall be established by a Majority of Members present. When present, the President shall preside over Meetings of the Columbia University Libertarians and the Executive Board.

Article IV – Amendments

Section I – An Amendment to this Constitution may be proposed by any registered Member to the Executive Board, who then shall refer it to the registered Members of the Columbia University Libertarians with a recommendation.

Section II – Amendments to the Constitution shall require a three-fourths vote of the registered Members of the Columbia University Libertarians.
Article V – Ratification

This Constitution shall be ratified by a two-thirds vote of the registered Members of the Columbia University Libertarians. It shall take effect on September 1, 2012.

History

January 10, 1971 The New York Times Magazine publishes an article by two Columbia College seniors, Stan Lehr and Louis Rossetto Jr., entitled "The New Right Credo—Libertarianism." Rossetto goes on to found Wired magazine. He recently gave an interview where he talks about libertarianism, Reason magazine, and revolution.

Academic year 1979-80 The Columbia Libertarian Caucus is founded.  We don't know how long the group lasted, but we're told it was "going strong" when its founder graduated.

Academic year 2001-02 The Columbia University Libertarians is founded but then abandoned.

Fall 2002 Through the Libertarian Party campus contact and by word of mouth, a new group is organized and petitions to be recognized as the Columbia College Libertarians.

December 17, 2002 In the middle of final exams, the Student Governing Board of Earl Hall officially recognizes the Columbia College Libertarians.

February 11, 2003 The Hungarian Convention: In preparation for the first meeting, Will Thomas (CC '06) and Damian Najman (Law '05) meet at the Hungarian Pastry Shop to draft a constitution.

February 12, 2003 Our very first meeting is held at Hartley Lounge. We decide to have a vote via email to ratify the constitution and elect officers.

February 17, 2003 The constitution is ratified by unanimous vote. Our first Executive Board is elected: Will Thomas as president, Damian Najman as vice-president, Chris Haynes (GS '05) as treasurer and Nick Clark-Spear (CC '06) as secretary.

Spring 2003 We continue to meet, usually at Strokos Pizza, to plan events and publicity.

Spring 2003 Our web site goes live.

April 9, 2003 A small group of Columbia College Libertarians go out to dinner with Gene Healy of the Cato Institute, who had come to the Law School to speak about the war on drugs. We have a very good time, and look forward to host Mr. Healy at future CCL events.

April 21, 2003 We have a second election of officers who will serve through the 2003-04 academic year: Will Thomas, Damian Najman and Chris Haynes are reelected, and Rob McNamee (CC '06) is elected secretary.

April 23, 2003 We hold our First Movie Night, featuring “The People vs. Larry Flynt.”

April 30, 2003 We hold another Movie Night, to show “Traffic.” Three activists from the Manhattan LP come to meet our members.

September 5, 2003 Activities Day! We set up a table with posters and literature on College Walk. Many students take the World's Smallest Political Quiz, and over thirty sign up for our mailing list.

September 10, 2003 Hunter DuBose (MBA '99) becomes the first member of our Board of Advisors.

Fall Semester, 2003 We host four events, featuring Dr. Roger Pilon (GS '71) of the Cato Institute; Scott Bullock of the Institute for Justice; Jacob Sullum of Reason magazine with Todd Seavey of the American Council of Science and Health; and Senate Candidate Michael Benjamin, a Republican with some libertarian leanings.

January 23, 2004 The good folks at the Cato Institute hook us up with student pricing for a City Seminar featuring John Stossel at the Mandarin Oriental in Columbus Circle.

Spring Semester, 2004 Our guest speakers include Professor Randy Barnett of Boston University School of Law and June Arunga of the Inter-Region Economic Network, a free-market think tank in Kenya. We also hold a couple of "fireside chats" at a nearby cafe.

June 10, 2004 The sweet life of a student: A group of us make it to the Cato Institute's Policy Perspectives 2004 with P.J. O'Rourke and others at the Waldorf=Astoria, again with a student discount.

September 10, 2004 Activities Day again! We set up our table full of literature on College Walk, and sign up sixty-five students for our mailing list.

September 26, 2004 New officers are elected for the 2004-05 academic year: Marco Zappacosta (CC '07) as president, Horace Grant (GSAS) as vice-president, Andrew Wilson (CC '07) as treasurer, and Emily Reeves (CC '06) as secretary.

Academic year 2004-05 Weekly meetings are held every Tuesday at 9:00 p.m. in Hamilton #306, later in #309. We start a blog, and are listed as one of only eight "highlighted libertarian campus organizations" on the national LP website. We continue to host speakers on campus.

Sometime since then New executive board is elected:
President: Marco Zappacosta (CC '07)
Vice-President: Horace Grant (GSAS)
Treasurer: Andrew Wilson (CC '07)
Secretary: Emily Reeves (CC '06)

September 2007 Another executive board is elected:
President: Mathieu Gordon (CC '08)
Vice-President: Amy Penniston (BC '08)
Treasurer: John Marshall (CC '08)

April 2008 Another executive board is elected:
President: Sean Spielberg (CC)
Vice President and Treasurer: Masood Manoochehri (CC)
Outreach Director: Brenden Cline (CC)
Executive Director: Joseph Moukattaf (CC)

May 15, 2008 A group of us attend the Cato Institute's Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty reception at the Waldorf-Astoria. The reception honored Venezuelan activist Yon Goicoechea, and featured FedEx CEO Fred Smith as a keynote speaker.

September 22, 2008
An article by Masood on non-interventionism is published in the Columbia Spectator.

Later that night With unanimous approval, the club's Constitution is changed to reflect a support of small "l" libertarian principles, rather than those specific to the Libertarian Party.

Notable faculty

Present
* Jagdish N. Bhagwati, Professor of Economics
* Charles Calomiris, Professor of Finance and Economics
* Robert A. Mundell, Professor of Economics
* Arvind Panagariya, Professor of Economics
* Andrzej Rapaczynski, Professor of Law
* Mark Skousen, Professor of Economics

Past
* Gary S. Becker, Professor of Economics, 1957-68.
* Milton Friedman, Part-time Lecturer, 1937-40; Associate Director, Statistical Research Group, Division of War Research, 1943-45; Research Professor, 1964-65.
* C. Lowell Harriss, Professor Emeritus of Economics
* Fritz Machlup (1902 - 1983), Visiting Professor, 1948.
* Ilse Mintz, Professor of Economics (1960s?).

Notable alumni

Founding Fathers
* Alexander Hamilton (1757-1804), King's College 1774-1776; Trustee 1784-1804.
* John Jay (1745-1829), King's College 1764.
* Gouverneur Morris (1752-1816), King's College 1768: The Fun-Loving Founding Father.

At the Hoover Institution
* Richard A. Epstein, B.A. in Philosophy, 1964: The Accidental Libertarian.
* Milton Friedman,* Ph.D. 1946.
* Thomas Sowell, A.M. in Economics, 1959.

At the Cato Institute
* Mark A. Groombridge, Ph.D. in Political Science. Also taught at Columbia.
* Roger Pilon, B.A., 1971. 2001 Alumni Medal of Distinction, School of General Studies.
* Richard W. Rahn, Ph.D. in Business Economics, 1972.

More economists
* Benjamin Anderson (1886-1949), Ph.D. in Economics, 1911. Also taught at Columbia.
* Walter Block, Ph.D. in Economics, 1972. Thesis title: "The Economics of Rent Control in the U.S."
* Murray N. Rothbard (1926-1995), B.A. in Math., 1945, M.A. in Economics, 1946, Ph.D., 1956.

Other
* Louis Rossetto Jr. (founder of Wired magazine), B.A. in Political Science, 1971, M.B.A.