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Virginia Rendler

  • Amnesty General Meeting 2019

    by Virginia Rendler | Apr 01, 2019

    This semester I had a big goal to begin a chapter of Amnesty International on the Manchester University campus. The clubs and organizations on campus do an excellent job of outreach, advocacy, and education, but I saw an opportunity for direct action.


    Amnesty International is an international organization that investigates and opposes human rights abused by the hands of the government. Student chapters within the organization can be involved in letter writing campaigns, protests and persuasion. Since starting Amnesty chapter, one of the best outcomes so far has been passing the Refugees Welcome resolution here on campus. We are the only institution in Indiana to pass this resolution in conjunction with Student Senate, and it’s an amazing way to practice what we preach with our mission statement.

    One of the best things about Manchester University are the opportunities that students have to engage in their own passions. Earlier this month, a group of peace studies students presented a workshop at the Amnesty General meeting called “Using the Human Rights Framework to Create Change on Campus”. We discussed past actions on campus and the lessons that arose from those campaigns. We were able to interact with the people that came to our session, attend other workshops and spend time getting to know others involved in Amnesty International.


    We were in a unique position. As a group newly involved in Amnesty, we were able to see into an international organization and understand the structure, but also bring our perspective of a small campus that has been engaged in social change. From college students to high school students, the opportunity to go to conferences like this allows us to see others research and contribute our own lessons. High school students that are passionate about creating change at their school can learn so much from experienced college students that have participated in campaigns, and being able to share that information is incredible.


    Traveling to conferences with a big group of like-minded individuals has been, without question, the best part of my college career. Attending these workshops and conferences allows us to gain experience and varied perspectives of a big campus, but with the family feeling of Manchester.


    For more information on Amnesty, we meet bi-weekly on Wednesdays at 9:00 p.m.