If someone were to ask you what your civil liberties are, would you be able to list any? The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) at UTSA was recently established so students could learn about civil liberties and civil rights by becoming involved in their local chapter.

“The group’s goals are to inform UTSA students of their civil liberties and to encourage students to promote civil liberties on behalf of those disenfranchised,” says Katy Womble, President of the new student chapter of the ACLU at UTSA.

The group plans to discuss and debate the rights of LGBTQI, women and children, as well as immigration and voting rights and capital punishment. The group focuses on protecting Constitutional rights such as free speech, free exercise of religion and free press.

The local chapter began earlier this year when a member of the ACLU of Texas contacted Katy Womble, a senior English and history major. The ACLU of Texas contacted her because there is interest in increasing the number of student chapters of the ACLU, and has the potential of increasing the number of overall supporters.

Regarding her founding of the new group, Womble said, “I think you can never have enough people or groups actively interested in protecting people’s civil rights, especially in these difficult times.” She continues, “I started this group because it gives me more freedom to pursue a wide array of issues.”

The campus ACLU chapter will meet at 4 p.m. Students can contact the group on Facebook or at utsa.aclu@gmail.com. Womble says, “The meetings should be around an hour. We will have a speaker for 30 minutes to give background information about an issue, and then for the remaining 30 minutes, we will debate the issue.”

Quang Huynh, the group’s secretary, says, “Dues will be $20 to $25 and there will be food at every meeting.”

The American Civil Liberties Union has strived to protect Constitutional rights and liberties since 1920. ACLU has been involved with many notable cases: Brown v. Board of Education and Roe v. Wade. 

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