Human Rights Council (HRC)

The mission of the SMU Human Rights Council (HRC) is to help students empower themselves and gain vital skills through real world experience in promoting, defending, and extending human rights during their college career. 

HRC was founded in 2010 as the Human Rights Student Leadership Initiative and became a fully chartered student organization in 2016. Meetings are held weekly during the fall and spring semesters. Any student is welcome to add a voice to the discussions and decisions. Students on HRC work for positive change in a number of ways, including by:

  • Cultivating a conscious and committed SMU student body;

  • Organizing events and trips for service, socializing, and activism;

  • Offering student perspectives on the EHRP calendar and curriculum;

  • Overseeing the budget for human rights student organizations;

  • Encouraging greater participation in the EHRP major and minor, trips, and outreach; and

  • Fostering a close knit and supportive human rights community on campus.

HRC is governed by a small board of directors consisting of exceptionally motivated students. The board observes a non-hierarchical leadership structure in which each member participates equally according to her or his abilities and desires. Board members serve one year terms, with the possibility for subsequent terms. Any SMU undergraduate is eligible to join the board, although human rights majors and minors are especially encouraged to apply. Applications for the following academic year are accepted each spring.

To learn more about HRC or attend a meeting, contact Tannah Oppliger at

2018-2019 HRC Officers

Executive Officers

Administrative Director: Tannah Oppliger
Co-Event Director: Ashley Mai
Co-Event Director: Peter Wetherbee
Communications Director: Averie Bishop
Finance Director: Cydney Snyder
Assistant Finance Director: Anna Ramirez
External Student Liaison: Sadiya Patel
Internal Student Liaison: India Simmons

Outreach Officers

Amnesty Liaison: Mona El-Gharby
Athletics Liaison: Emma Benkert
Health+Human Rights Leader: Emem Inyang
LGBTQ+ Discussion Group Leader: Rachel Mumaw
Meadows Liaison: Elise Hawkes
Student Alliance Liaison: Sophia Brinkley