As head of the Amherst chapter of Students for a Free Tibet (SFT) and as the contact for the approximately 100 SFT chapters in the New England area, David has concentrated on exposing people to the human rights situation in Tibet. “We do education about the cause of Tibet, but just telling people isn’t going to do very much,” David explained.
Accordingly the SFT plans events to get students actively involved in the organization. This past weekend, the Amherst chapter hosted a regional conference to discuss their two major projects: one involving action against a Chinese oil company and another focusing on a political prisoner.
David’s first exposure to SFT came two years ago through a friend who was in charge of the Amherst chapter. “I went to one of the meetings, and we watched a video, and it really touched me,” she explained. “It really woke me up. It was such blatant injustice; it just touches you when you watch it.”
After this epiphany, David realized that she had discovered a cause that really mattered to her. “The more I learned about it, the more it spoke to me to the point where I now spend a lot of time and energy on it,” she said.
In fact, David is considering turning her passion into a career after graduation by going to work for the SFT’s national office. Although these plans are still uncertain, David has a definite itinerary for January, when she will be attending an SFT activist camp in Malibu, Calif.
But for now, David is enthusiastic about continuing her work in the area. “It’s been hard doing it at Amherst because there’s not much enthusiasm about those things,” she said. “But the Five-College network that we’ve built up has been the most rewarding part. It’s been a beautiful partnership that we’ve built.”