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Student Chapters Report Progress, Fellowship

On Saturday, October 9th, student activists from six schools across the state gathered in Manhattan for the second annual Student Chapter Conference. The students were formally welcomed by NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman. In the morning, the students engaged with senior NYCLU staff on some of the most pressing civil liberties issues facing students in New York.

NYCLU Attorney Beth Haroules spoke on Post-9/11 Issues on campus, exploring how projects like FERPA and SEVIS have impacted academic life across the state. Legislative Director Bob Perry discussed the profoundly damaging impact of the Rockefeller Drug Laws, and Abbi Ferguson, from the ACLU’s Capital Punishment Project provided vital information about the death penalty.

The focus later in the day shifted to building and supporting the efforts of each student chapter. Student Chapter Coordinator Nina Maturu and NYCLU staff members Yanilda Gonzalez and Steve Theberge facilitated the discussion which focused on strategies for communication and collaboration among chapters, as well as between chapters and the NYCLU main office. Much of the afternoon was spent exchanging ideas and organizing strategies between chapters. Participants left energized, inspired, and ready for a year of action across the state.

Among the chapters were represented were New York University, Columbia University, Albany Law School, Brooklyn Law School, Touro Law School, and Vassar College.

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