No Lost Generation holds petition signing event for refugee scholarship fund
Amid the hustle and bustle of the weeks approaching midterm season, there is one group on campus that is still trying to bring student minds to topics of greater moral and social implication.
This Monday and Tuesday on the North Green, the Registered Student Organization (RSO) No Lost Generation held an awareness and petition signing event, including a virtual reality experience to give passersby a taste of life as a refugee.
The group, established in 2016, has the goal “to raise awareness about access to education and refugee status across the globe,” according to their online forum.
Its booth, set up on The Green just outside of Gore Hall throughout the several sunny afternoons, helped provide the group with opportunity for grassroots engagement. Students who strolled past were asked to sign the group’s petition to the university for the purpose of establishing a scholarship fund, intended to pay for the education-related costs of ten refugees students. During their double header this week, the petition received well over 200 signatures.
According to Casey Moore, the president of No Lost Generation, this is only the beginning.
“We eventually want to meet with student government, Faculty Senate and other administrators,” Moore said.
The senior international relations and public policy double major was clear in her advocacy for support of those who are in need. Her time as a world scholar, as well as various academic excursions abroad, have afforded her intimate experience with the topic. She has visited refugee camps in Rome as well as Chalkida, Greece, and even worked with the refugees in the later camp during this past summer.
“When you get to know people and have a conversation one on one, you realize there is so much more in common between you than there is different,” Moore said.
She added that “we all deserve the right to an education.”
The aim of this support is fitting, according to those who know the topic well. Professor Malasree Neepa Acharya, a faculty member of the university’s Department of Political Science and International Relations and the Horn program for entrepreneurship, studies international migration. Acharya has published several works in recent years regarding the topic.
According to the professor, the university would do well to offer its hand to the global community regardless of the political implications.
“Whether you’re hard line right wing or left wing [politically], if there are people in need, from the doctrine of our campus being an open community, I think we need to make sure that we try to be global citizens,” Acharya said.
She noted that the work being done by groups like No Lost Generation promotes a process of “decolonizing” our minds.
According to Acharya, this is a means by which people can come to see each other as human beings, rather than citizens of different nations, a perception of the world through a scholarly, rather than a partisan, lens. Even a step as seemingly small as signing a petition to allow refugees to have a quality education can still have a profound impact on both the signer and the refugee.
After all, Acharya said, “we’re all part of one world.”