Human Rights Watch campaign looks to increase voter registration

Ruoshan Dong and Alice He

The Human Rights Watch Student Task Force organized an initiative to increase voter registration and promote political awareness around campus for the midterm elections.

The campaign stressed the importance of viewing current political issues with an emphasis on human rights and to inform voting.

Co-presidents Sonya Ribner ’19, Catherine Crouch ’19 and Chronicle Editor-in-Chief Sophie Haber ’19 said they were first inspired to create the campaign in order to educate the eligible voters within the school community.

The goal of this project was to encourage students to utilize their voices to enact future changes in society, Ribner said.

“We tried to select campaigns that both require human rights advocacy and that are really relevant to our classmates’ daily lives,” Ribner said. “Given that the midterm elections were coming up, it seemed like the ideal time for a campaign that stressed not only the importance of making your voice heard through voting but also voting with a view toward human rights issues.”

The student group co-hosted a voter registration drive prior to the midterm elections with Andrea Yahger ’20.

At the drive, they registered voters, educated students to view candidates and human rights issues and encouraged increased voter turnout.

The group also provided information that related 11 ballot propositions to different articles and excerpts from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Students that were ineligible to vote had the opportunity to learn about political and human rights issues from members of the club.

“The fall campaign for all of the Human Rights chapters involved is learning about the power of the vote,” Crouch said. “We wanted to make it prevalent on campus to try to urge those able to vote and to get everyone engaged about their rights and how best to defend them.”