NEWS IN BRIEF: Undergraduates Hope to Create New Human Rights Group Based on Law School Model

With no shortage of ad-hoc advocacy on the Harvard campus, concerned students have organized a new group to give students real-world experience in defending human rights.

The Harvard College Student Advocates for Human Rights group is not yet recognized by the university but already boasts a membership of fifty undergraduates who wanted to respond to frustrations over an absence of “meaningful” human rights work at Harvard, according to co-founders Tamar Ayrikyan ’07 and Caitlan L. McLoon ’07.

Modeled after the Harvard Law School (HLS) Student Advocates for Human Rights, the new group aims to work in conjunction with NGOs and other human rights organizations overseas on research and consultation.

“It’s important that people interested in human rights maintain that interest,” McLoon said. “Our purpose is to connect our resources with the people who need them.”

Though unaffiliated with the HLS group organizationally and financially, the law school students and undergraduates would like to work together.

“We’ll have a different approach, a broader perspective and the potential to do projects the law school can’t,” McLoon said.

Leaders of the HLS advocates agreed.

“The College Advocates can provide insights from a variety of disciplines and can look at human rights advocacy from more than a narrow legal standpoint,” HLS Student Advocates for Human Rights Vice-President Zinaida Miller wrote in an e-mail.