Students' Union Fights for Human Rights
Cornwall College Students' Union (CCSU) has been busy raising awareness of human rights issues.
The CCSU team have been working closely with human rights organisation Amnesty International to make as many of the College’s 40,000 students as possible aware of the charity’s plight and engage them in activities to support the cause.
A week-long campaign was recently run across all Cornwall College campuses in Camborne, Newquay, Saltash and St Austell, as well as Duchy College at Stoke Climsland and Rosewarne, and Falmouth Marine School.
As part of the week, dozens of students took part in logo stunts, where they dressed up in white overalls and formed the Amnesty International logo; a candle with barbed wire wrapped around it; for an aerial photo. The events attracted attention from fellow students and left those not involved interested to find out more.
Alex Ledbrooke, Communication and Participation Officer at Cornwall College, who helped organise the event, said: “The students really engaged with this activity. It was certainly good fun but the underlying message couldn’t have been more serious. It made them really appreciate just how lucky they are.”
Students were also given the opportunity to take part in a ‘Prisoners of Conscience’ tutorial with guest speaker Derrick Parsons where they wrote letters to those who have had their human rights abused around the world. This raised some thought provoking questions for students at the College and gave them the chance to put themselves in the shoes of those less fortunate than themselves.
Toni Pearce, President of the Students’ Union, said: “Cornwall College Students’ Union ran the Amnesty International campaign because we wanted to encourage students to look at their own rights as citizens and how their counterparts’ experiences vary from their own.
“It’s been great to see students having fun and enjoying their college experience whilst at the same time asking why students throughout the world can’t do the same.”
During the week students were also asked to make a red hand print to be displayed on paper to show their objection to the use of child soldiers as young as ten in war zones internationally. The Red Hand symbol has been used all over the world by the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers and other organizations to say no to the recruitment and use of child soldiers.
Toni commented: “Students were obviously touched by the thought of such young people being forced into conflict and hundreds of red hand prints were collected to be sent to the United Nations.”
Dave Linnell OBE, Principal of Cornwall College, said: “It’s good to see students engaging with worldwide issues such as this. The Students’ Union does an excellent job in trying to make the student experience the best it can be. It’s great that our learners can take part in different activities as they see that college is not wholly about academic achievement; there’s a lot more to learn outside of their course areas.”
For more information on Cornwall College Students’ Union please visit www.cornwallstudents.org.