STU Human Rights students helping Haiti

Amy MacKenzie – The Aquinian

Donations are being made to build a school in Haiti

Human Rights students at St. Thomas University are raising money to help build a school in Haiti.

The funds will be donated through the organization “Free the Children.”

Martina Cole, a third-year student at STU, is the brains behind the initiative. The students in her human rights class, taught by Michael McGowan, brought two dollars to every class last semester and ended up raising $400.

“We were sitting in classes and studying human rights,” Cole said. “We thought it was time to put our lessons to practice.”

When Cole saw how much potential there was in raising money, she was inspired to expand their efforts.

“I thought ‘what if we expanded this idea to all the human rights classes.’ There are 10 classes so that would make $400,” she said. “With that much money, we could donate it to building a school. I approached Dr. McGowan with the idea and that’s how we got started.”

They decided to donate the money towards building a school because education plays such an important role in helping people.

“Education empowers people. How do you expect them to raise themselves up when they don’t even know what situation they’re in,” she said. “Education is what gives them hope. It sounds philosophical, but it’s true.”

Cole feels a sense of responsibility to countries like Haiti.

“They’re in a position where they need help and I have the ways to do it. So why wouldn’t I do what I can to help them?”

A jellybean contest will be held throughout the week, where people can guess the number of jellybeans for $1.

A movie night will also be held on Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. in Brian Mulroney Hall, Room 101. The movie will be Blood Diamond. Admission is $3 with advanced tickets and $4 at the door.

The total amount that they hope to fundraise is $8,500.

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