Students Take a STAND Against Genocide

Since February of 2003, Janjaweed officials have been performing their version of an “ethnic cleansing” of the population of Darfur, Sudan. Since this time, over 400,000 people have been killed, and 3.5 million have lost their homes. The mistreatment, famine, malnourishment and suffering of these people must come to an end. This is a very similar situation to the Rwanda genocide of 1993, when the Tutsi regime looked to annihilate the Hutus in one of the most deadly genocides since the Holocaust. There are over 125 student organizations on campus at UVM, few of which fly as low beneath the radar as STAND (Students Take Action Now: Darfur). Many people know about the genocide in Rwanda, but few are aware of the severity and longevity of the Sudanese genocide occurring right now. The STAND mission statement says, “STAND is a student movement present on over 200 college, university and high school campuses across the United States. The mission of each STAND chapter, and the National STAND Coalition, is to educate others on Darfur, to raise relief funds, and advocate for political action.”As of right now, UVM’s STAND is coordinating numerous campaigns to raise awareness and collect funds for the people of Darfur. Some events being planned are a field of flags commemorating all who have died in Darfur, a Sudanese art show with pieces by local Sudanese immigrants, a film series chronicling recent genocides in Africa in order to raise awareness, a change for change campaign to raise money from Vermonters, benefit concert to be held at The Higher Ground in Burlington, and the Power to Protect campaign, which will hold a rally in Washington, D.C. on April 30th to protest the lack of American intervention in Darfur. This campaign will also stage a number of other events, including a “Die-In Day” on April 6th, when students will be laying in body bags across campus to raise awareness. Meetings are held every week at 8pm in Lafayette 207. At the meetings, STAND discusses current events, brainstorms new ideas and updates the progress of campaigns.For more information, contact Meredith at [email protected] All are welcome, just show up.