Students gather to call, write representatives in opposition to Trump executive orders
February 5, 2017
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Students contacted elected officials in an effort to to combat President Donald Trump’s recent executive orders at an event hosted Sunday by ZOOZ, a Jewish social advocacy organization at Northwestern.
ZOOZ organized a “Post-Inauguration Day of Action” at Fiedler Hillel to provide students with the resources necessary to enact tangible change, said Arielle Ticho, the group’s co-advocacy chair. Students were provided with contact information for state representatives and senators, sent postcards and made phone calls and discussed effective strategies for engagement with elected officials.
Engagement with elected officials gives students the means to channel post-inauguration angst into “something that’s hopefully impactful,” said Ticho, a SESP senior.
Jesse Rudnick, a SESP freshman who attended the event, said there is a misconception that small actions –– like writing postcards and making calls –– don’t cause a lasting impact.
People have more power than they think, she added, and raising one’s voice is the first step in fighting for social causes.
“Although you may not be talking to your senator on the other end of the line, that stuff does go somewhere,” Rudnick said. “We elected them. Ultimately their job is dependent on us, and they can’t do their job if they don’t hear from their constituents.”
Students at the event also wrote letters of support to local mosques, saying they stood in solidarity with the Muslim community.
Ticho added that it is important “now more than ever” to support Muslims, especially after Trump’s recent executive order barring citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for 90 days. The executive order was suspended when a federal judge blocked it nationwide on Friday. On Sunday, a federal appeals court in San Francisco denied a request from the Justice Department to re-activate the order.
“Specifically, regarding the Muslim ban, the Jewish community knows something about being excluded, being rejected from certain places and being labeled as ‘other,’” Ticho said. “Given our history, we oppose vehemently this Muslim ban and this refugee ban.”