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A New Group Seeks Recognition from University

Brooke Burger
Managing Editor

   A new group is attempting to become recognized as an official organization by the University of Arkansas at Monticello. Students for Constitutional and Human Rights held its first meeting in the Memorial Classroom Building Auditorium March 22. 

   During the first meeting, SCHR discussed the purpose of the organization, appointed officers and watched a documentary film “Unconstitutional,” which looked at some of the policies enacted under the Bush administration including the Patriot Act. 

   Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Michael Botts initiated the group. Botts said U.S. government policies such as the Patriot Act and the Military Commissions Act, which suspends Habeas Corpus, brought to his attention the need for such a group. 

   “I have become aware of the erosion of our civil liberties in the past six years,” Botts said. “We should not fear someone watching us or putting us on a list because of what we choose to do, whether joining a political group or researching something on the Internet.” 

   The group will look at where this nation is headed concerning constitutional and human rights. Though SCHR plans to keep discussions open, the main focus of the group will be on the erosion of individual freedoms and the violation of human rights. 

   “I want the organization to be student oriented,” Botts said. “I want the students to provide input, and hopefully, if successful, to put political pressure on representatives and articulate our concerns to local government.” 

   The club plans to not only discuss the issues concerning constitutional and human rights, but to also become active in making a difference. According to Botts, the group will plan on going on field trips and attending conferences to become active in voicing the concerns of the public. 

   “The people in America are sovereign,” SCHR member Eric Bell said. “We are in charge.” 

   In order to become recognized by the Student Government Association as an official group, SCHR needs to have at least 10 members by its next meeting. Only six people attended the first meeting, leaving the group four members short for recognition by SGA. Once recognized by SGA, the proposal will go to the UAM Assembly for permission to become an official campus organization. 

   The group will hold its second meeting Thursday, March 29 at 12:40 p.m. in the MCB Auditorium. Interested persons can contact Botts at 870-460-1710 or botts@uamont.edu.

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ŠThe Voice 2007
01/13/2008 03:23:12 PM — http://www.uamont.edu/Organizations/TheVoice/4_20/schr.htm