Amnesty International shares visions for the school year

Amnesty International held their first interest meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 24 in the Founders East Gallery. The meeting was hosted by returning members of the club whose goal was to educate new first-year students about the mission of the club and encourage them to stay and explore more about human rights within the nation.

To kick off the presentation, Co-President Tibaria Alnouri talked about her goals for the club. 

“I want the club to continue on in a sustainable way,” said Alnouri. “So I really want to find underclassmen particularly that are invested and have the same excited energy around human rights, and could even drive the club into a new direction. I would like to have more visual events, public displays and artistic actions.” 

Alnouri then went on to list a few of the events the club hosted last semester, including collaborative movie events and discussions with other organizations on campus. They also held interactive activities such as writing and petitioning.

After the presentation, the members of the club got to participate in a mock action activity to get an idea of the type of work the club does. Attendees split off into pairs and were asked to work on a mock letter to a prison or a prime minister. Afterward, each member was given the opportunity to talk about a human rights issue that they were most interested in. Topics varied widely from police brutality and false imprisonment to refugee and immigrant rights.  

Following the meeting, Co-President Ian Gordon talked about their goals for the club this school year. 

“Last year we had a little bit of a slow semester,” said Gordon. “This year we are trying to come back with a lot of energy and branch out into things that we have not really done before.” 

Reflecting the same energy as the club leaders, many attendees demonstrated sentiments of excitement and coming to learn more and more about human rights, such as first-year student Noely Bernier.

“I am really excited to do tabeling, help out with real-life issues on campus and also get the word out to students,” Bernier said. “I would also like to see how students on campus help out with Amnesty.” 

Bernier expressed her reason for joining Amnesty International. 

“I got involved because I am interested in human rights,” Bernier said. “The issues that stand out to me the most are gun violence and police brutality. I think everyone should be talking about those issues, and Amnesty does a lot of that. 

“I think that it’s really cool to see college students getting involved with real-life issues such as the death penalty. I feel like if more young people and students get involved, the government will pay attention and do something about it.” 

As a closing note, Alnouri shared her vision for the club as the year progresses.

“I want to leave a great foundation for the club moving forward,” said Alnouri. “I hope that this year we will find people who are so invested in doing this work that it does not even feel like work.”

Editor’s note: This story was originally published in Volume 106, Issue 1 of The Guilfordian on Oct. 4, 2019.