A Slam Dunk for UNA: Human Rights Bracket at Indiana University

From waiting outside in below freezing temperatures to watch our beloved basketball team, to wearing the famous cream and crimson colors daily —Indiana University is serious about sports. Some might even say “religious”!

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So, what better way to gain the attention of students at a Big Ten school than through the power of sports? The UN International Day of Sport was the perfect time for Indiana University’s UNA chapter to host an event focusing on human rights.

Working with Monika Johnson, the Youth Engagement Manager for UNA-USA, Indiana University’s UNA chapter hosted an event where students were asked to choose which human rights issues they believe to be the most important, using a March Madness-style bracket. Our group posted a giant bracket in a heavily visited area on campus, the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA), along with information about how to become involved with our chapter, and stickers from the UN’s Free and Equal campaign. The bracket was divided into four categories—global health, civil liberties, economic opportunity, and freedom. After filling out their brackets, students’ entries were put in a raffle for prizes like UNA-USA merchandise and gift cards to Starbucks and Amazon.

Students engaged in conversations about the human rights issues at hand and debated why they were important

The event was a slam dunk! Students engaged in conversations about the human rights issues at hand and debated why they were important. The final three human rights were: Rights of Children, Access to Education, and Freedom of Expression. In the end, Access to Education was the winner by 7 votes. In all, over 50 students participated in this event and more than 30 students were interested in joining our chapter!

But why stop there? To get students on campus more involved, we also created a video feature with student athletes reciting the Declaration of Human Rights. Our video (which you can view here) was a great way to get student athletes engaged in human rights and for student fans to relate. After posting the video, I received many emails about interested students wanting to join our UNA chapter.

Overall, I am very pleased with the outcome of this event. My chapter looks forward to creating new and exciting opportunities for students as the fall semester approaches!

Kelsey Cooper, Indiana University Campus Chapter

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