The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Event to cover broad spectrum of human rights

Photo by Photo by Shahd Elbushra
Amnesty International

Sexual consent and the Syrian refugee crisis — these are just some of the issues that will be on display for students to learn and talk about at the Human Rights Fair on campus.
The fair will be hosted by A&M’s chapter of Amnesty International as part of their human rights awareness week.
Derin Oduye, president of A&M’s Amnesty International chapter and political science senior, said the organization started last semester and is hosting the fair for the first time this year. Oduye said the fair is something Amnesty chapters around the U.S. do throughout the semester, and is one of the organization’s biggest advocacy events.  
“We’re hosting about 12 to 15 organizations on campus who are under the human rights umbrella,” Oduye said. “It really is supposed to be a way for the people of Bryan and College Station to get together and celebrate human rights and stand in solidarity.”
Oduye said Amnesty will host a several events this week, from a “he for she” panel to writing letters to Syrian refugees. Wednesday’s fair is the main event.
Each organization participating in the fair will focus on a specific human rights issue. FREE, Feminists for Reproductive Equity and Education, will promote the concept of consent and reproductive health, said Laura Reid, FREE president and psychology senior.

“We also want people who don’t want to be directly involved to have the opportunity to pick up resources they are comfortable with and learn about consent and reproductive health so they can make their own decision,” Reid said. “Whether they’re dealing with an unwanted pregnancy or an infection or a disease — something that may be irreversible — if people knew about it from the beginning, they could’ve taken preventive measures.” 

Marisa Suhm, assistant director at the Department of Multicultural Services, said Amnesty International and the DMS have similar goals. 

Suhm said human rights is the idea that everyone needs a fulfilling life. 

“You need safety, food, water, education, absence of harassment and war, to have a job,” Suhm said. “It’s nothing extraordinary, but it’s the basics for a life worth living.”

Aggies 2 Aggies, an organization in the DMS that works to improve cultural awareness and respect for diversity at A&M, will also participate in the fair. 

“They will have a quiz about facts of some of the human rights issues that are happening around the world,” Suhm said. “They will educate in a fun way — talking about issues of poverty, illiteracy, immigration, refugees and things of that sort.”

Oduye said it’s important to talk about human rights because they are prevalent issues in today’s society.

“There are violations made almost every day by several nations including ours,” Oduye said. “We have to be aware of what’s going in our own backyard.”

Suhm said the event will serve as a fun way to learn about issues that can sometimes be difficult to talk about.

“Any time you have an opportunity to educate people on international issues it raises the global competency of our students,” Suhm said. “The U.S. being such a key role in the world — it is important that the citizens understand some of the global issues.”

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