September 28, 2011- Issue 3

Heading to Boston

Contributing Writer

Over the summer, Georgetown College’s Modern-Day Slavery Projectreceived a large grant fromthe Jenzabar Foundation to fund Uniting Minds, Transforming Lives: The First Annual Kentucky Conferenceon Human Trafcking that will be held on campus during the spring semester.In the meantime, the foundation wanted to send a few students up to Massachusetts to take part in an important convergence of students who are already working in areas of international development and social change.

Four members of GC’sStudent Abolitionist Movement—Hannah Flanery, Elizabeth Stevent, Caliesha Comley and myself—traveled to Boston Sept. 16-18 to attend the Millienium Campus Conference. Students from all over the world were in attendance. The conference focused on the United Nations’ eight Millennium Development goals (if these do not sound familiar,I encourage Google-ing it!).

We were able to attend panels and workshops on fundraising, advocacy, student-led development projects,climate change and world hunger, and group sustainability. These topics were broad, but we heard from people—students and professionals alike—who have been doing international development work fora long time. There were students starting non-profitsand professionals whorun NGO’s, all working inhopes to improve the qualityof life for others who simplyneed the resources many ofus already have access to.

The knowledge and experience taken from Boston—from the panels and workshops, from listeningto those who are already entrenched in the ght onbehalf of people who have no voice, from walking around Harvard’s campus, and yes, from enjoying a cannoli in Little Italy—will be motivationas the four of us return to Georgetown in hopes to change the things that make us cringe or weep or fume.

Together we learned a lot about what it is this campus could use—less apathy,more action. A movement has already begun here to do something about the 27 million slaves in the world today—yes, I said 27 million.That is not just a number.That means—in case we’ve forgotten—27 million individual people with stories and talents and dreams.

Can we stand idly by while children are abducted from their homes to ght for violent rebel armies? What about when a woman is raped multiple times a day because someone wanted to prot off her body or wanted to satisfy selsh sexual desires? Or how about men,women and children forced to work in unimaginable conditions, for long hours and little pay so that we might enjoy the luxury of buying any product at any time?

The Student Abolitionist Movement (S.A.M) is a student-led group on campusready to ght for the end of human trafcking and slavery in the world today. We raise awareness by becoming creative activists. In the coming year, we will show lms, host events, do research, bring fair trade products to campus, and ght for justice in the face of the darkness of modern day slavery. Join us. If you are passionate about another cause or issue, do something now. Don’t wait for someone else. Initiate it and commit to it.

If you want to know more about abolition and what you can do to free slaves,come to the rst S.A.M Meeting:Wednesday, Sept. 28 at 7p.m. in the Hall of Fame Room. Our second and third meetings will be Oct. 19 and Nov. 16, same time, same place.

Be the change Editor urges students to do more than just quote Gandhi

News Editor

 “Be the change you want to see in the world.” If I had a nickel for every time I saw that famous Mahatma Gandhi quote on someone’s “Favorite Quotations” section of their Facebook biographical section, I would use that money to repay my student loans. The fact is lots of people like to say those words, but few actually put it to practice. In fact, there seems to be a pandemic of people saying one thing and doing another.

This past weekend, in the hustle and bustle of Songfest, alumni brunches and sporting events, it is likely that

Source: If Evan Harrell had a nickel for every time he saw Gandhi’s most famous quote in a “Favorite Quotations” box on Facebook, he’d have a lot of nickels.

many of us neglected the real meaning for all the festivities (possible understatement). In case anyone has forgotten, the reason we have Homecoming is for alumni—something we will all be in a few short years, and I want my Alma Mater to be a place I will enjoy coming back to. But if all we do is sit around nding things to complain about, that gives us absolutely no incentive to return someday.

The bottom line is this: we can quote Gandhi all we want, but what does that do for the students who are limited in the opportunities they can have here at Georgetown because we are not a handicap accessible campus? What does that do for the students who feel marginalized because of their sexual orientation or their ethnicity? It has become painfully evident to me in the time I’ve spent here at Georgetown that change is going to have to happen from the bottom, up.

I suppose my challenge to everyone reading thisstudent and administrator alike-is to apply actions to your words. I don’t necessarily think everyone should rush to a computer right this second, log on to Facebook and remove any references to this famous Gandhi quote, but maybe everyone could consider including one of my own: “Be the change you want to see on this campus.”


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