University of Missouri

47-53: A Resolution to Create the Mizzou Human Rights Commission and Host Awareness and Advocacy Events in Fall 2008 and Spring 2009

WHEREAS, On December 10, 1948, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights defined human rights as “a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction,” and

WHEREAS, As a member state of the United Nations, the United States is dedicated to this code of ethics which protect basic personal freedoms for individuals worldwide, and

WHEREAS, The University of Missouri, an institution dedicated to upholding the values of respect, responsibility, discovery, and excellence, strives to act as stewards of scholarship and diversity within the field of post-secondary education, and

WHEREAS, Within the spirit of MU values and the respect for human rights instilled by the United States and the United Nations, the University of Missouri celebrates the protection of human rights, and

WHEREAS, Mizzou’s STAND chapter is comprised of concerned and active students dedicated to fighting genocide as a part of the National STAND Coalition, which is an umbrella organization with over 600 chapters across the US and abroad, and

WHEREAS, STAND Mizzou is committed to raising awareness about the genocide in Darfur, raising relief funds for victims and refugees, and urging political action for a swift, sustainable, and just solution, and

WHEREAS, STAND Mizzou’s events this past year have included letter-writing and call-in days to MO elected officials, benefit concerts, film screenings, and speakers ,and

WHEREAS, Stop Traffic is the grassroots movement of students in the fight against human trafficking which pairs students with communities, non-government organizations, and legislators to provide services for victims and pass legislation to combat the issue, and

WHEREAS, Stop Traffic hosted the 2008 Anti-Human Trafficking Conference, which united students, community members, and activists during a two-day summit of activism and change.

THEREFORE, Be it resolved that the Missouri Students Association join with STAND Mizzou and Stop Traffic to create the Mizzou Human Rights Commission with the following mission:

What:
Mizzou Human Right Commission is a program that seeks to educate the campus community—students, professors and staff—about human rights issues around the world as well as in our community. For each school year, two human rights issues will be picked, one local and one global, and the entire school will learn about those particular issues.

Why:
The world is increasingly becoming more and more interdependent via politics, economics, the environment, etc… And as college students preparing to enter the world, it is crucial that we are all aware of issues looming outside the personal sphere of the campus and our daily lives. Essentially what the program hopes to achieve is the dissemination of information about the two issues chosen every year.
Hopefully such information will give students the incentive to apply it and seek solutions, by either participating in student organizations, community groups, etc… And as students seek solutions, they will come to understand that the status-co does not have to remain and most importantly that they can play a role in effecting change.

Who:
1.    STAND Mizzou
2.    Stop Traffic
3.    MSA
4.    University departments- Some of the departments at the university are very involved in awareness campaign that often involves human rights issues. Such departments include the Peace Studies, Women and Gender studies, Political Science department, etc… It would be a feasible goal to ask these departments to co-sponsor the events
5.    University Halls- Training about these issues can be provide to educate RSD, who would in turn spread this information to their dorms
6.    Summer Welcome- The human rights issues of the year can be introduced to incoming freshman this way, in addition a training session would be provided for Summer Welcome leaders to become familiar with the topics.

How:
1. Tiger Guide: These agendas printed out each year are a great tool to reach a wide audience. We propose that a human right statement be written inside. The statement would explain the program; introduce the issues picked that year. In addition, quotes or information should be added each week.
2. MU guide. We would like access to this to advertise programs this year
3. Events and programming co-sponsorship the MSA Department of Student Activities,
4. We are also looking at hosting a human right fair and involve other organizations on campus that work towards human rights issues, and

THEREFORE, Be it further resolved that the Mizzou Human Rights Commission’s long term goals include:

Fundraisers: raising funds for human rights issues around the world (genocide, famine, war, conflict, human trafficking, and ethnic cleansing)

Syllubi: including a short statement of respect for human rights in the syllabus of every course

Pledge: a pledge spoken at graduation, Tiger Walk, or Tiger Prowl that has students promise to be aware of rights violations

Classes: students should have one class per major dedicated to human rights/civil rights issues

THEREFORE, Be it further resolved that Genocide and Human Trafficking will be the two major areas of focus in the 2008-09 academic year.

Respectfully submitted,

Jonathan Mays        Nadege Uwase        Paige Hendrix
MSA Senate Speaker        STAND Mizzou President    Stop Traffic Co-founder

Rachel Parrish
DSA Director