Amnesty International Takes the Stage

By Lainey S. Cronk on April 20, 2005

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With a grand combination of college students, the Patriot Act, and harp music, PUC’s chapter of Amnesty International (a human rights advocacy group) hosted the April 13 all-school colloquy program.

The group brought to the platform Lawrence Swam, executive director of Interfaith Freedom Foundation, Ameena Jandali of Islamic Network Groups, and a tremendously well-received harp performance by a chapter officer.

Assistant chapter coordinator Sean Metherell opened the program with a description of Amnesty International, emphasizing that it promotes the “impartial protection of human rights.” PUC’s chapter has been meeting for several years now, and their primary means of involvement is through writing letters for specific human rights issues. Currently the group is focusing on Sudan and also on the Patriot Act.

Swam spoke briefly about Interfaith Freedom Foundation and associated issues before introducing Jandali, who discussed the Patriot Act and issues regarding treatment of Muslims—specifically “Islamophobia.” Jandali’s presentation was clear and articulate, and she spoke not only from a well-informed, analytic point of view but also from her own personal experiences.

A question-and-answer session with Jandali was scheduled to follow the colloquy program, and a panel discussion on the Patriot Act was set for that evening, with four faculty members comprising the panel.