Student Organization stands for freedom

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April 15, 2015

By Vesna Brajkovic

With standing thunderstorms and gale force winds, about 50 students kept vigil  outside the University Center for 24 hours on April 9 to raise awareness for modern-day slavery.

Known as Stand for Freedom, the annual event is headed by the International Justice Mission (IJM). UW-Whitewater’s chapter and student organization is called Freedom Force.

Other than attending classes, Gus Backe, Freedom Force recruitment chair, stood for the entire 24 hours despite the tornado warning and lightning-filled sky.

Elizabeth Franzke twirls her umbrella as she stands in a moment of silence.

Elizabeth Franzke twirls her umbrella as she stands in a moment of silence.

“The 24 survivor stories [which are read at the end of each hour] show how many different forms trafficking and slavery can take,” Backe said.

Many of the planned activies and crafts were paper-based and therefore cancelled due to the weather.

“I think that the cold and the rain made the experience very memorable for those involved,” Freedom Force President Cassie Steiner said. “Students felt as if sacrificing warmth and sleep made a statement; it really represented the ‘one day for their everyday’ mantra. It shows the resiliency of this movement and those involved.”

 

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