Liberty

Ayn Rand Student Conference 2017 | W Atlanta-Midtown | November 3–5

@AynRandOrg | #AynRandCon

“I have never learned so much while also enjoying myself to this extent.”

Radhika, University of California-Los Angeles (2016 Conference attendee)

What Does It Mean to Be for Liberty?

Leaders throughout history have raised the banner of freedom.

Political figures from Jefferson to Lenin to FDR and philosophers from Locke to Marx to Rawls all claim to stand for liberty. But they have radically different understandings of what liberty is, and so they advocate for very different sorts of societies.

The same is true of many of today’s political and cultural groups, from Occupy Wall Street to the Tea Parties to Black Lives Matter to libertarian student organizations like Students for Liberty.

So: What is liberty? What does it look like to truly be an advocate of it? What does it mean to be for liberty?

Join us November 3 to 5 in Atlanta, GA, at Ayn Rand Student Conference 2017 (#AynRandCon) for an in-depth exploration of liberty from the perspective of Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism.

Rand – the novelist, philosopher and cultural icon famous for her bestselling novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged – offers a distinctive account both of the nature of liberty and of its true friends and foes.

At #AynRandCon you’ll hear leading experts on Rand’s philosophy discuss her view of liberty, including why human beings need it, the sort of society in which it is possible and how we can fight for it. You’ll also meet other students who love Rand’s novels and have been inspired by her ideas to take up the cause of freedom. And you’ll have the chance to network with speakers, professionals and students.

The conference is brought to you by the Ayn Rand Institute in collaboration with STRIVE (STudents for Reason, Individualism, Value pursuit, and Enterprise) and is made possible by the generous support of the Michael and Andrea Leven Family Foundation, as well as Mark Coldren, Loren and Kathy Corle, RELCO LLC, Ellen and Harris Kenner, Chris J. Rufer and other #AynRandCon Sponsors. (See the Registration section if you are interested in being a Sponsor.)

Thanks to these donors, students are able to attend this conference at little or no cost. All students are eligible for a scholarship covering their travel, lodging and registration expenses.

Apply to attend by October 2, 2017!

“Being immersed in intellectual discussion for the weekend was an amazing and deeply valuable experience.”

Ian, Portland State University (2016 Conference attendee)

Speakers & Schedule

Click above for more information on Speakers/Schedule.

“I gained some great tools for introspection, as well as a better understanding of Ayn Rand's philosophy.”

Price, Los Angeles Harbor College (2016 Conference attendee)

Hotel & Travel

Ayn Rand Student Conference 2017 will take place at the W Atlanta-Midtown. Attendees receiving a scholarship are required to stay at the W and to attend the full conference, beginning at 6 PM on Friday, November 3, through 4 PM on Sunday, November 5. (Those opting-out of a scholarship are exempt from these requirements.)

You will need to arrange and pay for your lodging at the W Atlanta-Midtown, but scholarships up to $1000 are offered to all students, which will cover most or all costs. A guest checking into a room must be at least eighteen years of age, have a valid picture ID and present a method of payment upon arrival.

The discounted conference room pricing is $149 per night for a double, $169 per night for a triple, and $189 per night for a quad, plus applicable taxes and fees (approx. $30/night). The approximate per person costs to attend the full conference, based on room occupancy, are:

  • $179 per person total for two nights in a DOUBLE room (includes taxes and fees)
  • $135 per person total for two nights in a TRIPLE room (includes taxes and fees)
  • $113 per person total for two nights in a QUAD room (includes taxes and fees)

The rooms have two queen beds. Double occupancy means you each get a bed, triple occupancy means one bed is shared, quad occupancy means both beds are shared. Anyone looking for roommates should post a message on the #AynRandCon 2017 Facebook group.

To book

Guest room reservations can be made online at the conference booking website or by calling 1-888-627-8545. If you call, you must mention that you are with the Ayn Rand Institute conference. Hotel reservations must be made by Monday, October 16. After October 16, rooms will not be available at the group rate.

The group rate will be available for Thursday, November 2, but the extra night is not covered by the conference scholarship. Sunday, November 5, is only available at the prevailing hotel rate and is not covered by the conference scholarship.

Getting there

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) is the closest airport. The hotel does not provide a shuttle service to or from the airport. Ground transportation between the hotel and airport includes:

  • Subway (MARTA):Midtown Arts Center Station stop is 0.5 miles from the hotel ($2.50 one way from airport; reloadable Breeze card is required and costs $2.00)
  • UberX or UberPool : $18 – $24 if surge pricing is not in effect (one way)
  • Taxi: Flat rate of $32.00 from airport to Midtown area

“I had an absolute blast! Learning about Objectivism from top-notch scholars and meeting like-minded students who are passionate about Ayn Rand’s work is a cherry on top to my weekend.”

Natalie, College of Charleston (2016 Conference attendee)

Frequently Asked Questions

Getting the Most Out of #AynRandCon

Can I still enjoy #AynRandCon if I’m new to Ayn Rand’s ideas?

Absolutely! The content is balanced so those at all levels of familiarity with Rand — from beginners to advanced students — benefit. Every year there are dozens of first-time attendees.

How can I get to know other attendees before #AynRandCon?

The main way to interact with attendees before the conference is to join the #AynRandCon 2017 Facebook Group. There, you can chat with other attendees about their plans for the conference. You can also follow @AynRandOrg on Twitter for general conference updates.

Will I have opportunities to interact with speakers outside the sessions?

Yes! In addition to taking questions during their sessions, #AynRandCon speakers are happy to make themselves available for discussion whenever there is a break in the conference programming. Please approach speakers with questions during breaks and meals.

Conference Basics

Can I attend a single session or day of the conference?

Attendees receiving a scholarship are required to attend the full conference, from 6 PM on Friday, November 3, to 4 PM on Sunday, November 5. If you are not receiving a scholarship you are exempt from this requirement, but please let us know if you will not be attending the full conference.

I can’t find a flight that doesn’t conflict with the conference schedule. What should I do?

The Atlanta airport is a major hub for domestic and international flights, so this is a rare occurrence. If you’re having difficulty, contact us at students@aynrand.org, and we will work with you to resolve the issue.

What is your Cancellation/Refund Policy?

The $50 registration fee will be refunded for cancellations made by October 15. Please contact us at students@aynrand.org if you are no longer available to attend the conference. You will need to separately cancel your reservation at the hotel or transfer it to one of your roommates.

Do I have to stay at the W Atlanta-Midtown hotel or can I stay elsewhere?

Attendees receiving a scholarship are required to stay at the W Atlanta-Midtown hotel. If you are not receiving a scholarship you are exempt from this requirement.

How can I find a roommate?

Post a message on the #AynRandCon 2017 Facebook Group to connect with other attendees concerning rooms, travel, etc. If you’ve done this and are still having difficulty finding a roommate, email us at students@aynrand.org.

Will you be livestreaming the conference?

We will not be livestreaming the conference, but some sessions will be available on ARI Campus or ARI’s YouTube Channel after the conference.

Are meals included in the conference? Can you accommodate dietary restrictions?

The conference includes a Friday night reception and dinner, Saturday and Sunday breakfast, lunch and all-day coffee, and a party on Saturday evening with substantial fare. The reception and party include one free drink, after which there is a cash bar. Every meal will have a vegetarian option. Contact us (students@aynrand.org) if you have questions about the meals.

At the Conference

Will there be free Internet?

Yes! Complimentary Wi-Fi is available in the guestrooms and meeting spaces.

What are the transportation options from the airport to the hotel?

Please visit the Hotel and Travel section above. Other information can be found on the website of W Atlanta-Midtown and the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL).

What is the charge for parking at the W Atlanta-Midtown?

The hotel offers only valet parking, which is $36.00/day.

How will I find conference events inside the hotel?

The meeting spaces are easy to find. The main meeting room is the Great Room, which is on the lower level of the hotel.

Is there a dress code?

The conference will be photographed and filmed and has a “smart” or “smart casual” dress code, which means casual but presentable and neat. See the links for more information, and if you have questions contact us at students@aynrand.org.

What is your recording policy?

No private audio or video recording is allowed. ARI records conference events and makes them available later through our YouTube Channel, eStore and other outlets. However, you are encouraged to take photos and Tweet! We simply ask that you refrain from using flash photography during talks so as not to disturb the speakers and other attendees.

About the Conference Organizers

Where can I learn more about Ayn Rand’s ideas?

Visit the Ayn Rand Institute’s main website, AynRand.org, and explore a wealth of resources related to Ayn Rand and her philosophy, Objectivism. A selection of past conference talks and courses is available at at ARI’s YouTube Channel and eStore, and ARI Campus offers a large selection of free online courses. The Students section of our website covers a range of educational programs and resources available to students through ARI.

Where can I learn more about STRIVE?

STRIVE (STudents for Reason, Individualism, Value pursuit, and Enterprise) is a nationwide student organization which consists of a network of campus clubs, as well as a campus newspaper distributed across the country (The Undercurrent). STRIVE clubs give students access to practical resources and knowledge through the unique perspective of Objectivism, and provides them with opportunities to join the broader Objectivist student movement. Visit StriveClubs.org and learn more.

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Register

Expand the following registration options to see which one is right for you:

Students

All students in a degree program who are at least eighteen years of age by November 3, 2017, are eligible to apply to attend Ayn Rand Student Conference 2017. The application deadline is October 2, 2017.

If your application is accepted, you will receive a scholarship up to $1000 covering most or all of the costs of attending the conference. (This scholarship may be waived if you prefer the funds be made available to others.) Only those who have been accepted may attend the conference.

Students are required to register before applying to the conference. For those accepted, the $50 registration fee will be refunded upon completion of the conference exit survey. For those whose applications are denied or who cancel before October 15, the fee will be refunded at the time of the denial or cancellation. After October 15, no refunds will be given for cancellations.

After registering, please complete this conference application as soon as possible, and no later than October 2. You must include your conference registration number when you apply.

Scholarship amounts are based on travel costs and will be paid around the time of the conference. See the scholarship application for more details.

Sponsors

For the first time, we are inviting non-students to attend #AynRandCon by supporting the conference as a Sponsor. #AynRandCon Sponsors are able to attend all conference sessions, receptions and meals, and will interact with students and speakers throughout the conference. Sponsors are also invited to a special Saturday evening dinner with speakers and conference staff.

As a sponsor, you will be given recognition in conference materials (opting-out is possible), and will be sent exclusive pre- and post-conference reports and our conference photobook.

Registration as an #AynRandCon Sponsor is $2,500. A portion of your Sponsor registration, $2,000, is a tax-deductible donation to the Ayn Rand Institute and will support Ayn Rand Student Conference 2017.

If you would like to contribute without attending #AynRandCon or if you would like to contribute more than $2,500, please contact contributions@aynrand.org.