International law discussed

By Joe Martone

Donald Page and Julie Shen, two Cal Poly Pomona reference
librarians, organized a presentation regarding international law
last Thursday in the University Library.

The presentation gave a brief overview of Julian Assange,
editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, and the possibility of him facing
extradition and treason, as well as the safety issues found when
traveling abroad.

The information concerning WikiLeaks was a brief overview of the
current and previous exploits of Assange. The Australian native
received fame and notoriety when he leaked classified global
information through his organization’s website, WikiLeaks.

WikiLeaks, a non-profit organization started in 2006, is known
for distributing private information through anonymous sources. The
information released is expansive and varied, ranging from the
contents of Sarah Palin’s Yahoo account to unreleased documents
concerning the war in Iraq.

Assange faces extradition charges for his actions, and was
recently bailed out after being charged and arrested for sexual
assault.

The presentation began with individual slips of paper that asked
the viewers what smell international law would have.

“A couple weeks ago, I attended a librarian conference where
this was used as an icebreaker,” said Page. “It’s just to help you
think about the topic from a different slant.”

Anonymous responses included chemicals, dead bodies, sulfur and
arsenic.

Though the presentation was focused on helping students, the
room was filled with faculty members.

Only two students, Jeanne Marie Imdyjan, a sociology student and
Garrett Porter, a computer engineering student, attended the
presentation.

Travelers going abroad on cruises were given pointers on
examining a cruise ship’s condition to see if it was up to
standards. One recurring theme of the presentation was attempting
to tie the relevant matters into pop culture trends, referencing
the film “Titanic” and the Drew Barrymore film “Going the
Distance.” This attempt worked ” Imdyjan said she loved the
movies.

“I came because I saw WikiLeaks,” said Imdjayn.

She thought it would be interesting and was enticed by the
prospect of learning about international law.

Though the section was brief, Imdjayn said she learned more than
she did before.

Porter, who followed his friend Imdjayn to the presentation,
said it was a nice introductory explanation of what international
law does.

The presentation was written for beginners because Shen and Page
said their goal was to reach the students in a greater capacity.

“We’re trying to reach out to the campus community more, to make
the library a more cultural centerpiece,” said Page.

Outreach was never easy for the pair.

“Previously, we only got to talk to students in classes where we
were invited by the faculty,” said Shen. “Now we’re trying to do
more original presentations to a larger audience.”

They were also motivated by the desire to make the subject
relevant to those on campus. Assange was a prominent example of
what they wanted to discuss.

“[His case is] in the news a lot,” said Page. “We brought up
extradition, and his is a pretty complicated, controversial
problem.”

Shen said the presentation was also about the need to think
globally.

“We’re all citizens of the world, whether you’re aware of it or
not.”

Assange is currently under house arrest in Norfolk, England. His
extradition hearing will take place early next month in London.

International law discussed

Ben French / The Poly Post

International law discussed

International law discussed

Ben French / The Poly Post

International law discussed

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