Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) built a Berlin Wall Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. between the library and the campus center.
YAF is a national organization that seeks to educate college and high school students about conservative principles such as limited government, individual freedoms, traditional values, free enterprise and strong national defense, according to their website.
Davis Dilling, a junior political science major from Vero Beach, Florida and president of the ACU YAF chapter, started the organization last spring to promote conservative values and principles.
Dilling said the Berlin Wall project is part of Freedom Week, in which YAF encourages its chapters to participate in commemorating Veterans Day and the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov. 9, 1989. The replica stands eight feet high and 12 feet wide.
The Wall took about three hours to construct and will be torn down Friday around 3 p.m. using sledgehammers. Throughout the week, students are encouraged to spray paint the wall in a way that represents how their freedoms have been infringed upon. Participating in the tear down is open to all students.
“It’s just a chance to celebrate freedom,” Dilling said. “I am anticipating that the Berlin Wall project is successful both in educating students–none of us were alive at the time the Berlin Wall fell–and its a good history lesson.”
Dilling said when he pitched the idea to administration, he was required to clarify details and address concerns. Thus far, he said there has been no student pushback.
Jenna Salzman, junior political science major from Fort Worth, said the wall targets the wrong reaction.
“It’s very attention grabbing, which I believe is the point, but it’s not very conversation starting, which I think should be the point,” Salzman said. “I think conversation should be a really big component of political groups on campus. That should be the goal of all of us.”
Salzman said the easiest way to hear what others have to say is by attending Chapels and other events hosted by political groups, and dismissed the misconception that only people from the specified parties are welcome.
“A lot of these groups do want to foster conversation because there’s no point in learning in an echo-chamber. You just become more entrenched in your own point of view,” Salzman said.
After the teardown, YAF is showing the 1984 version of Red Dawn Rising in Hart Auditorium.
YAF participated in one other national event previously. On 9/11, the group posted American flags around the mall area of the campus in memory of the lives lost.