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Tuesday, October 26, 1999
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 46

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SPAN head Waldref to speak at UH

Cougar News Services

Students, faculty and staff can learn how to make a difference in the world when Amber Waldref, Washington, D.C.-based organizer for the Student Peace Action Network, speaks Thursday afternoon at The Honors College.

Waldref, a recent graduate of North Carolina State University, started a progressive student political organization while in college and has since become involved with SPAN, which works to encourage student involvement in matters of human rights, nonviolence and justice.

At Thursday's meeting, UH students, faculty and staff will be "challenged to find or build an organizational structure on campus to sustain activity on the issues they care about most," planners said.

Recent examples of such issues at other universities have included the "global sweatshop," by which First World manufacturers allegedly exploit Third World labor, and opposition of the U.S. Army's School of the Americas, where Latin American military officers are trained in techniques of intimidation.

"I know that most UH students are deeply opposed to the injustices in their world, but they have been made to feel powerless to be agents of constructive change," said Herbert Rothschild Jr., visiting professor in The Honors College. "That's the way people in power have taught us to feel.

"But we have enormous power. The civil rights, anti-Vietnam War and women's movements all prove how much power we can have," he said.

In the case of the sweatshop protests, students at several campuses have been able to keep their schools' athletic departments from promoting products they say exploit Third World citizens, and students have been in demonstrations against the SOA.

Waldref will be speaking at 5 p.m. Thursday in The Honors College offices in the basement of the M.D. Anderson Memorial Library. Her visit is being sponsored by an informal group of UH students and faculty members.
 

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