1997 Mario Savio Student Activist Award Honoree
Committed to the cause of human rights and social justice, the first Mario Savio Student Activist Award honoree is a senior in the Hutchins School of Liberal Studies at Sonoma State University.
Mette is a founding member of Campus Coalitions for Human Rights and Social Justice. CCHRSJ is a regional coalition of faculty, staff and students from state public colleges and universities who came together to fight against challenges to human rights and social justice, such as Proposition 187, Proposition 209, and the conditions that make it difficult for underrepresented students to receive a higher education in California. In her work with CCHRSJ, Mette publicly debated the consequences of the passage of Prop 187, organized the anti-Prop 209 rally at SSU and participated in the anti-Prop 209 hunger strike.
In the spring of 1996, Mette coordinated students, staff and faculty to host the North Bay Diversity Action Conference, which brought a number of local human rights activist organizations from the community together for a one-day conference at SSU. The conference resulted in the adoption of a proposal to establish a round table of community leaders to develop bold, creative solutions to human rights and social justice issues.
Last semester Mette and others formed the League of Student Voters. The League organized around the issues of the proposed fee hike at SSU, free speech and fair elections. Mette and the League held the well-founded belief there was an imbalance in the information available to students to help them understand the issues of the fee hike. For example, the University administration published and distributed at state expense a voter pamphlet containing over 9 pages of argument for the fee hike, and less than 2 pages against it. The League worked hard to present an opposing view, offering guest speakers, forums, and literature. Mette’s commitment to fairness motivated her to make sure that all students had access to the positions of both sides. In the largest voter turn out is SSU history, the proposed fee hike was defeated.
With Mette as editor, the League has recently published an independent student newspaper, called the Eclipse. Its mission is to inform readers of campus issues and to inspire.