Global Studies Division proposes minor in human rights

April 14, 2015, 11:50 p.m.

The Stanford Global Studies (SGS) Division and the WSD HANDA Center for Human Rights and International Justice are working together to offer students a new minor in human rights.

The Handa Center, previously the War Crimes Studies Center at UC-Berkeley, was established at Stanford a year ago. The SGS asked the Handa Center to take on a proposal for a human rights minor to be administered outside the SGS program.

“The Global Studies Division had been working on a global studies minor with a built-in human rights component,” said Penelope Van Tuyl, associate director of the Handa Center.

The SGS hoped that a minor would allow students to specialize in areas in which there are no existing programs. The Handa Center’s arrival brought an opportunity for the creation of such a minor.

According to Van Tuyl, the proposal for the minor is still in the drafting process. The team has been working with a faculty advisory committee, which will help finalize the proposal, and is hoping to submit it for approval very soon.

“We’ve been talking to faculty on campus who do work and offer courses and opportunities in human rights,” Van Tuyl said.

SGS and the Handa Center will propose the creation of a gateway structure that will help students navigate existing course offerings in order to see the big picture in human rights.

“The purpose is not to create new courses but to bring structure to how students sequence courses to take a meaningful, scholarly track,” Van Tuyl said.

The proposal for the minor includes two distinct features: a gateway course that covers a broad survey of human rights across disciplines and a capstone project element to add depth to students’ coursework.

According to Van Tuyl, an exact timeline for the proposal is still unknown.


Contact Sarah Ortlip-Sommers at sortlip ‘at’

Sarah Ortlip-Sommers '18 is a senior staff writer and former Student Groups desk editor. A senior studying political science, she grew up on the beautiful island of Martha's Vineyard (yes, people really live there; no, she hasn't met Obama). Catch her ordering her fifth cup of coffee from Starbucks, singing with Everyday People, or watching Grey's Anatomy. Contact her at sortlip 'at'

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