SAT club works to end trafficking
Being a critical global issue, human trafficking currently sees more than 40.3 million people trapped in slavery. With more people being trafficked than ever before, the issue affects 5.4 out of every 1,000 people, according to Enditmovement.com. But now students can get involved in making a difference with Students Against Trafficking (SAT), a Liberty University club hoping to change these statistics.
Founded in 2021, Liberty’s SAT club works with organizations such as Mission House Thrift, New Girls Hope, Freedom 424 and the Mosaic Collective. The club provides students opportunities to receive CSER hours through movie nights, clothing sales and volunteering to educate the community on human trafficking topics on and off campus. Recently, students in SAT worked at a Student Government Association (SGA) poverty simulation at Liberty to teach students about the risks of human trafficking in vulnerable communities.
“SAT’s mission statement is essential to team up with local organizations that are working to fight human trafficking and empower them because we believe that when we’re together, we’re stronger,” Maura McQuillen, the founder and president of the club, said. “Also, we work to educate students on human trafficking signs.”
SAT was created under the umbrella of a parent organization called Operation Underground Railroad (OUR). Operation Underground Railroad, founded in 2013, fights human trafficking by spreading awareness, assisting law enforcement around the world and providing intervention and aftercare.
According to OUR’s website, the organization rescued or aided in the rescue of more than 6,000 survivors and the arrests of more than 4,000 predators since 2013. They have expanded into more than 40 countries and all 50 states.
Students run SAT clubs under the oversight of Operation Underground Railroad. These clubs exist to raise awareness about human trafficking and encourage students to get involved in the anti-human trafficking efforts, according to OUR’s website. They fundraise for OUR, provide students with human trafficking prevention training and work with local businesses to build informed communities.
Many of Liberty University’s students and faculty embraced the missions of SAT and volunteer their time to work with completing CSER within the organization. Around 40 of these people currently work with SAT.
“Everyone’s just been so supportive along the way on a faculty level as well, which has been a great extra boost,” McQuillen said.
Students Against Trafficking will host its first annual Benefit Gala at the Williams Stadium Club Pavilion Dec. 1 from 7-9:30 p.m. Tickets will be $9 per person. They will have a speaker from OUR, an auction, live music and refreshments. All proceeds from the auction will go towards OUR to support its mission of rescuing and supporting survivors all over the world.
SAT is looking for passionate students interested in leadership, CSER and local service opportunities. More information about SAT or the Benefit Gala can be found on Instagram at @SAT_LU or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Falls is a feature reporter for the Liberty Champion