North Texas Daily

Students Against Trafficking and Slavery chapter renewed

Students Against Trafficking and Slavery chapter renewed

February 19
22:44 2013

Olivia Sylvain / Intern

UNT’s Executive Committee of International Organizations is renewing Students Against Trafficking and Slavery and the UNT chapter of Amnesty International for the spring semester.

SATS is a group that works locally and internationally to end sex trafficking and slavery, and Amnesty International is a global organization that advocates human rights. They are part of ECIO, or the Executive Committee of International Organizations. It is a larger association of groups that are concerned with global issues.  International studies graduate Lara Ryba and two of her peers founded ECIO.

“You have to start local, in grassroots, to really get the message out,” Ryba said. “Grassroots movements have shown to be very effective given any cause.”

In the past, ECIO and its member organizations have hosted several events focused on educating the public about international issues such as sex trafficking, human rights violations, and hunger. They face the challenge of getting the local community concerned about issues on a global scale.

“The overall mission is to unite and collaborate with all the internationally-focused student organizations on campus,” Ryba said. “We host collaborative events and each of our organizations has input on what international topic we want to bring to a wider audience.”

The Students Against Trafficking and Slavery group disbanded last semester due to lack of leadership. International studies freshman Brittany Olson is one of the new officers being put in place to revive the group. She hopes SATS will be an even more effective group this semester.

“We’re getting together a solid member base,” Olson said. “First, we’re finding officers who are really committed to the cause.”

Rehabilitation studies senior Maggie Bertino was drawn to SATS this semester after searching for groups that shared similar interests.

“I was really interested in the topic and I wanted to be with people who were also passionate about it,” Bertino said.

ECIO oversees several different organizations, and both Olson and Ryba said the ability to collaborate with different groups of people is what keeps these advocacy groups running smoothly. They are able to get more information to the public because so many groups and people from different backgrounds work together.

“People have different circles that they connect with; you can interact with a whole new network of people and bring in new organizations.” Olson said.

Other groups involved with ECIO include UNICEF, Project Nur, Model International Organization and Denton Anti-War Network. Officers from each of these organizations form ECIO. They meet at 5:30 p.m. every Tuesday in the GAB.

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