STANDing up for Darfur

By Allison Drinnan

This past Friday students stood up for the dead at Broken City Social Club.

The event, hosted by campus club STAND, aimed to give a more personal look at the crisis going on in Darfur.

“I think we’re a lot different than other social advocacy groups on campus,” said University of Calgary STAND president Michelle Cheung. “It’s about coming up with new ideas of how to approach advocacy. We hold events that have music because I’m a huge fan of music, or it involves art because we’re all interested in art. It is a serious topic and we shouldn’t forget that but we can also have fun while raising awareness.”

STAND Canada is a youth-based advocacy group started in 2005 and has chapters onseveral campuses across Canada. The organization is devoted to speaking out and acting against genocide all over the world, with a specific focus on the crisis in Darfur.

With deaths in Darfur reaching 400,000 the actual individual lives involved in the crisis can get lost. STAND has chosen to bring individuals and their stories to the forefront.

“We really feel this year because of the economy that Darfur has sort of fallen by the wayside and a lot of people have forgotten about the issues and the conflict. We want to make sure that it is in people’s faces this year through our events,” said Cheung.

One of the main ways STAND encourages people to get involved is to simply pick up the phone and let the government know you want something to be done about Darfur. That sentiment is something they will promoting at their events throughout the year.

Cheung says the goal is to make people aware and get them involved in fighting for the people of Darfur, but also have fun at the same time.

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