Club Invites Others to Join in on Writes Campaign December 1

November 29, 2016

The Global Studies Club at Saint Leo University wants to make its annual letter-writing event with Amnesty International, well, more global.

Each year at University Campus, the Global Studies Program invites the campus community to a session devoted specifically to writing letters in support of individuals around the world whose freedom or human rights are somehow compromised. The intended recipients of the letters are typically officials in governments around the world—sometimes including the United States—who can do something to correct the situation.

Explainer

Amnesty International calls this its Write for Rights campaign, enacted each autumn. The human rights group highlights 12 individuals on its website and through collateral materials, and encourages supporters or interested citizens everywhere to become involved. The letter writers read about the individuals highlighted, and pick one or more to support with an individual letter. While the organization provides some sample letters, it is up to the correspondents to personalize their own statements. The campaign lasts until December 31.

The resulting mass influx of letters at government offices around the world does indeed help secure the freedom of some people each year, according to Amnesty International, which also highlights those cases on its website. The yearly event also educates participants about the influence they can exert throughout the year by speaking up on behalf of others, whenever the need arises.

For some college students, this event marks the first time they have had to write an actual letter—not a college-admission essay typed on a computer keyboard­—by hand and prepare the mailing envelope, noted Dr. Patricia Campion, adviser to the Global Studies Club. The experience gives participants a chance to relate to cases of people in distress, and to see how they can lend their own attention to a broad campaign.      

So this year, students from area schools and other adults are invited to join in the effort as well. The Write for Rights event will be held from 4 to 6 p.m., Thursday, December 1, in Kirk Hall, Room 209. Students from local high schools are welcome to take part, as are adults and any clubs or organizations interested. Kirk Hall is immediately visible upon driving into the main campus entrance at 33701 State Road 52. Parking is available in adjacent lots or the nearby campus garage. All necessary writing supplies and case information will be provided on site, as well as some light refreshments.