Letter to the Editor: For human rights

Amnesty International is a worldwide human rights organization dedicated to protecting individuals whose rights have been violated. Their work includes lobbying for the release of prisoners of conscience and changing discriminatory laws, among others. They recruit volunteers to engage in e-activism, fundraising efforts and letter-writing campaigns.

One of the reasons they’ve been successful is because anyone with a desire to better the world can get involved. I joined AI on campus because I think that everyone deserves to have their rights respected; AI gives people the opportunity to speak out when violations occur.

On Feb. 8, myself and two other members traveled to Halifax to attend AIs’ regional meeting. We met the AI Canada’s secretary-general and listened to him speak on challenges facing human rights in the world.

We met with student activists there and the experience gave us a sense of determination to create partnerships with other action circles. We plan on taking part in monthly webinars on human rights themes like women’s rights, indigenous rights and children’s rights with Halifax’s action circle.

Our STU action circle has focused on international and local issues. We take part in campaigns like 12 Hours for the Homeless and Trick or Eat, but we also take part in larger campaigns. We once hosted a day of silence to raise awareness about religious persecution against the Baha’i community in Iran, and every spring we donate money to Women of Zimbabwe Arise. We’re always looking for new ways to further the cause of human rights everywhere.

In a liberal arts school, it’s important for students to have the opportunity to work with organizations like AI. Many STU graduates get careers making positive differences in society. Volunteering with non-profit organizations is excellent experience for any student who has a passion for positive change.

Although the semester is quickly coming to a close, we always welcome new members. In September, I will be the director of the campus group. My experience has been a source of great hope and optimism. It’s inspiring to see people from my generation who care about making the world a better place coming together to achieve lofty goals.

Adrienne Arsenault

Assistant Director of the STU Amnesty International circle

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