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You Gotta Fight for Your Right (to Party) and Have Basic Rights

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Gettysburg chapter.

In 2017, you would think basic human rights such as freedom of expression, speech, religion, and pretty much the first ten amendments would be available to all with little cost. However, this fails to be the case in over 160 countries, including our own.

Over the past two weeks, I’ve engaged myself with Gettysburg College’s Amnesty International chapter. The club is a local branch of Amnesty International USA and Amnesty International Global. AI is a human rights organization based in countries around the world with the vision and mission to make sure all individuals have their basic rights protected. Stemming off a paper I wrote for my seminar (the same seminar referenced in my article How I Learned Nothing In High School And Everything The Summer Before My Freshman Year), I’ve immersed myself in information about Amnesty International and came up nothing less than inspired.

The organization itself started in 1961 when lawyer Peter Benenson read a case on two Portuguese students imprisoned for a raising a toast to freedom in Lisbon. In response, Benenson wrote a call for action for letters to be written on behalf of the prisoners in order to expose the government for wrongful imprisonment. Benenson’s start of Amnesty International is mimicked by what is today the “Write for Rights campaign.”

At the first Gettysburg College AI chapter meeting, Benenson was touched on briefly, but more so the action the club would take towards the bigger AI effort. Among our initiatives would be Write for Rights, where activists sign letters about current human rights cases to alert government officials. We also fundraise to raise awareness for human rights, educate the public, and maybe (fingers crossed) take a field trip.

While our efforts are small in comparison to the global chapter effort, we hope to contribute the lives saved each year by Amnesty. For more information on the organization and to get involved, you can visit Amnesty.org. As Amnesty volunteer leader Kit O’Connor says, “it begins with you.”

Shameless plug: For any Gettysburg College Student interested in joining Amnesty International, we meet on Sundays at 6 o’clock in CUB 230!



Juliette Sebock, Founder: Jules founded the Gettysburg College chapter of Her Campus in Fall 2015 and served as Campus Correspondent until graduating in Spring 2018. Juliette graduated from Gettysburg College in 2018 with an English major and History/Civil War Era Studies/Public History triple minors. In addition to HC, she was a member of the Spring 2017 class of Advanced Studies in England and of various organizations including Eta Sigma Phi, Dance Ensemble, and Poetry Circle. She has published a poetry chapbook titled Mistakes Were Made, available on Amazon and Goodreads, and she has poems forthcoming in several literary magazines. She is also the editor-in-chief of Nightingale & Sparrow Magazine and runs the lifestyle blog, For the Sake of Good Taste. For more information, visit https://juliettesebock.com.