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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

November 19, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

Life & Culture

Ithaca College group devoted to acceptance without borders

At Ithaca College, there are multiple organizations dedicated to protecting the environment. This year, however, there is another emerging organization on campus that is not only dedicated to matters such as conservation and sustainability, but also to preserving rights for human beings and improving life for everyone. This organization is called IC Life Without Borders and was started by sophomore Joshua Kelly, who is also the president of IC Greens.

“Life Without Borders is an organization that is dedicated to protecting, preserving, and enhancing life and the environment that we live in for the betterment of humans and other living beings,” Kelly said. “The idea of Life Without Borders is that I would really like it to not be focused on one specific area.”

Life Without Borders does not discriminate against gender, species, race or sexuality, and it hopes to improve life as well as promote awareness of the environment and equality, Kelly said.

So far, Life Without Borders has held one informational meeting, and members are currently being updated through emails and a Facebook group.

One member that first discovered Life Without Borders through the Facebook group, sophomore Tak-Man Fung, said Life Without Borders first intrigued her because of its equal focus on promoting the preservation of life, biodiversity and conservation, which set it apart from other campus organizations.

“It was something I had never heard of before,” Fung said. “No other club on campus was similar to it.”

Kelly said he hopes Life Without Borders will expand and be used to promote environmental values to students through activities such as discussions, polls, poster campaigns and documentary studies. Kelly said he also hopes to have guest speakers visit the college in the future to create awareness about how human behavior affects the environment.

“I believe that the most effective way to grow an organization is first and foremost to collaborate,” Kelly said. He also said he hopes that collaborating with other organizations on campus will not only help Life Without Borders to expand and become known among students but that it will also increase awareness regarding the environment. In order to achieve the goals the organization currently has, Kelly said the organization is looking to expand as they pursue the issues important to their cause.

Kelly said he hopes Life Without Borders will collaborate with other organizations on campus, such as the Ithaca College Environmental Society, the African-Latino Society, IC Human Rights and IC Greens.

“Any organization that focuses on the environment or social justice in general is somebody that we are very interested in working with,” Kelly said.

Kelly said everyone has the right to life, water, food, shelter and happiness, and the organization’s main focus at the moment is helping those who don’t have those resources present in their lives.

“A billion people around the world don’t have access to clean drinking water,” Kelly said. “Tens of thousands are still hungry.”

Kelly said he hopes that Life Without Borders will travel around the world someday with the help of the college’s travel funds and investigate the needs that people currently have. Through this investigative work, Kelly said, he hopes Life Without Borders will grasp a better understanding of what people around the world need and want, and then help them achieve it through fundraising and collaborative events such as benefit concerts.

“I would like to collaborate so that we have the opportunity to get people to come to events,” Kelly said. “And when they come to those events, get to know us.”

The organization currently has 12 committed members, and among them is freshman Alana Herlands, who plans on running for the position of secretary for Life Without Borders.

“I’ve never seen a club at a school defend literally everyone,” Herlands said. “Getting involved with something that protects the rights of all people, which is something I feel very strongly about, would be beneficial to myself and the rest of the world as well.”

Although Life Without Borders is still on the search for a faculty adviser, Kelly has aspirations that it will someday become a multi-chapter organization.

“There are wonderful things that are happening here on IC’s campus,” Kelly said. “We could do a world of good if more students would get involved.”