A.S. Should Create a Human Rights Board

    I am proposing that we create a Human Rights Board as an official A.S. entity. The way I see it, HRB will be an institutionalized coalition of student orgs (and will be a step toward fostering a campus community). The Board will bring together students orgs and serve as a forum to facilitate collaboration, interaction and dialogue. It will embrace inclusivity and scholarship. HRB will encourage and promote respectful and honest communication regarding the education and awareness of basic human rights principles, and violations thereof. Ignorance is the root of human rights abuses, and in collaboration we are capable of accomplishing even more. Hence once a year, HRB will mobilize its member organizations to put on a Human Rights Week in the Winter.

    My work with the UC Haiti Initiative, Global Business Brigades and Esperanza International Inc. has taught me that if you want to implement something sustainable, you don’t just build an individual’s capacity, you build an institution. This is a non-traditional way of organizing, but there’s a reason why the IFC/PHC/MGC Greeks, as institutionalized coalitions, have the sense of community that they do. A community is exactly what’s lacking among the students who would be included in HRB and, beyond delivering Human Rights Week to the general student body, the Board stands to abate the problems I originally outlined. 

    The same model of HRB has been implemented by the A.S. at UCSB and is hugely successful. We will replicate their model in which active student orgs send a delegate to bi-weekly HRB meetings. Any org that sends a representative has a vote. And as an A.S. commission, this Board may even have its own funding to distribute. Our A.S. has thus far failed to create an avenue to address human rights abuses. This is a proactive step towards doing just that. 

    I will be presenting Human Rights Board to A.S. this week and bringing it to vote the following week. My hope is to see the Human Rights Board in full swing by fall of next year.   

    —Brad Segal

    A.S. Campuswide Senator

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