Brandon Wasicsko, a native Floridian, is a recent graduate of Florida Gulf Coast University, where he was a member of Students For Liberty’s Executive Board. It was through SFL that Brandon first learned of FIRE and the defense of free speech on America’s campuses.
“I first discovered FIRE at Students For Liberty’s 2009 regional conference at Wake Forest University where Adam Kissel was a panelist,” Brandon remembers. “I was impressed both with Adam personally, and FIRE’s mission of defending individual rights on campus more generally. More students need to hear about this organization and what it can do for them, I thought.”
And that’s just what Brandon did. The following year, he invited Adam to speak at the Students for Liberty 2010 Southeast Regional Conference. After positive feedback from conference attendees, the appearance precipitated a week-long, six-university speaking tour of Florida, providing Adam the opportunity to discuss previous FIRE cases, the value of free expression on campus, and how FIRE is helping students achieve that freedom today.
In addition to being involved in Students for Liberty, Brandon served in a number of other capacities as an engaged student. He co-founded Eagles for Liberty, a campus liberty club, was a member of the Southwest Florida Objectivists, and worked as a research assistant for the FGCU Department of Economics. Brandon also enjoys keeping busy with sailing, kayaking, cooking, reading and writing.
Although Brandon is not entirely sure what he will be doing post-graduation, he has many ideas and ambitions. “I do want to work in the area of operations, organization, project management, or event planning,” Brandon says. “I also plan to teach high school economics for some time, pursue an advanced degree, and continue spreading the ideas that support individual rights to students. Farther down the road, I’d like to open a 1940s-themed jazz club.”
For Brandon, activism to further the pursuit of freedom of expression on campus comes from a frustration surrounding missed opportunities. “Ideas have the power to change the world,” Brandon explains, “and college campuses ought to be the venue for their exchange. Yet often times, they are not. I view ideas and life as inseparable: the former is required to successfully achieve the latter. The only way a person can grow is by discovering and exploring ideas, accepting the good, rejecting the bad, and seeking constantly to learn and improve. Restrictions on the spread of ideas–be it bans on specific content or limitations on various means of communication–ultimately hinder an individual’s ability to make a prosperous, happy life for himself.”