Stop. You’re moving too fast. The minute hand has become your master, as you rush from class to class, part-time job to internship, coffee shop to library, gym to dinner, party to bar. When do you get a moment to catch a breath and collect yourself? When, in this hectic life, do you get a chance to pause for thought? Think. You’re good at this. You go to Georgetown, after all. You think a lot about what to write in your papers, or what to study for your exams. You put a lot of thought into how to raise your GPA, and ultimately how to get that cushy job with the expense account and paid vacation time. But now that you’ve taken a moment to stop, you can put your mind to bigger things, more meaningful matters. Stand. This one’s a bit harder to do. In order to stand, you first have to stop, and then you have to think about why you’re standing, or more importantly, about what you’re standing for. Chances are, being a Georgetown student, you have stood for something at some point. Be it for a political matter, a value, or a cause, Georgetown students are never passive about standing up and expressing their sentiments. We are especially famous for taking a stand on human rights injustices. Simply walk through Red Square and count the number of tables representing a social justice cause. Look at the flyers posted around the campus, and try to keep track of every fundraiser, walk or awareness campaign you see advertised. It seems nearly every Georgetown student is standing up for something; so what do you stand for? For many, the answer to that question is human rights. Defined as the basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled, human rights are unfortunately denied to many individuals every day around the world. Georgetown students, in solidarity with these oppressed peoples, have stopped to think about these abuses and decided to stand up to end them. Have you ever stopped to notice the creative ways your fellow Georgetown students are standing up to end human rights abuses? Oxfam International’s hunger banquet raises awareness about hunger among children worldwide. The trafficked conference, hosted by SSTOP (Students Stopping the Trafficking of People), brings non-governmental organizations and experts on human trafficking to campus. During DarfurFAST, hosted by STAND (a student anti-genocide coalition), students give up one item for 24 hours and donate the money they would have spent on the foregone item to Darfur. Students Helping Honduras has raised enough funds to bring electricity to a Honduran Village. And THiNK (Truth and Human Rights in North Korea), for example, has screened a documentary about human rights abuses in North Korea. Georgetown students take innovative paths to advocacy each day and many of their efforts have tangible influences on human rights. We as a student body are commendable for the way in which we stop, think and stand up for human rights. We have come a long way and accomplished much, but we still have more to do. It is time that we stop and think about the common goal of the causes we stand for. Whether it is human trafficking, North Korean human rights abuses or the genocide in Darfur, we must all strive to improve the lives of our fellow human beings this millennium. It is in this spirit that SSTOP, THiNK and STAND have banded together with numerous human rights groups on campus for the event “SSTOP, THiNK, and STAND Up for Human Rights!” featuring a speech by Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.). Of course, not every Georgetown graduate will enter a career in which they can defend human rights around the clock. And the sheer number of human rights causes can seem rather daunting, as many of us have felt when attending the Student Activities Commission Fair. But regardless of whether we pick one cause or five, and whether we devote a weeknight, a summer or an entire lifetime to these causes, we can make a difference. You’d be surprised at the progress you can make. So, the next time you’re rushing to class, let that flyer catch your eye. Take the time to stop, read it and think. Allow yourself to become or – continue to become – inspired to stand up on behalf of human rights. Bridget O’Loughlin is a junior in the School of Foreign Service and co-president of STAND. James LeGrice is a senior in the College and treasurer of SSTOP. *To send a letter to the editor on a recent campus issue or Hoya story or a viewpoint on any topic, contact [opinionthehoya.com](opinionthehoya.com). Letters should not exceed 300 words, and viewpoints should be between 600 to 800 words.*

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