The Young Americans for Freedom club held a socialist bake sale in front of the Student Union on April 6 and students who participated did not receive what they expected.
When students paid for a cookie, a member of the YAF club would split it in half first and give the second half to someone else. The buyer only received half of the cookie.
“We’re actually raising awareness to teach kids about socialism and when they buy a treat, we’re going to show them that even though they earned that treat, they still have to share it with other people,” said Carter Lankes, a sophomore electrical engineering major and president of the club. “We’re going to cut it in half and either eat it or give it to someone walking by.”
The members of the YAF club believe that socialism is a flawed system and they used the bake sale to communicate their ideas to other students.
“The socialist bake sale is a way of communicating the flawed principles of socialism in a way that’s, you know, fun and interesting,” said club member Brett Feller, a sophomore writing and rhetoric major.
He also mentioned that socialism and democratic socialism lead to higher taxes and a decreased quality of life.
Club member Cody Zavada, a junior integrated business major, said he saw the bake sale as a way to show people how socialism worked.
“We want to show how it actually works,” he said. “When you buy a cookie and we only give you half back, if you donate a dollar, you know, it’s not the most fun.”
Some of the students who bought cookies at the bake sale appreciated what the club was doing. Marco Michilli, a game design major, was one of them.
“Honestly, I like that they’re, you know, actively engaging the community and I like how they’re, you know, not officially attacking someone,” Michilli said.
The College Democrats at UCF had a table across from the YAF club, and while some members of the College Democrats disagreed with the bake sale, they believed that YAF had the right to hold it.
“I think it’s based off of gross misrepresentations, and it’s still based off this false idea that unmadly half of what you make is gone when, in actuality, socialism is far more complex than that,” said College Democrat member Ashley Joyce-Nyack, a junior political science major.
She said that she disagreed with their message, but she thought the YAF club had the right to hold the socialist bake sale.
Christopher Moskal, a sophomore English literature major and the director of political affairs for the College Democrats, agreed.
“I think it’s very misleading and a simplification of socialism, and I think anybody could take any kind of economic system like capitalism, communism [or] socialism and just essentially attack it easily depending on how you want to phrase anything,” Moskal said.
While he disagreed with the YAF club, he also believed they had the right of free speech to speak their beliefs.
Throughout the socialist bake sale, the YAF club sold over 30 cookies. There were minor debates where people came to the bake sale to speak about socialism, but the discussions were always held in a respective manner.
Members of YAF said it is a club that spreads conservative messages, and the socialist bake sale was an example of that.
“Young Americans for Freedom is a conservative action group and we promote the ideas of free market principles, smaller government and Reagan beliefs,” Glenn Sundin, a junior business major said.
Casey Ryan is a contributing writer for the Central Florida Future.