By Margaret Rettinger
The theme of campus-wide discourse on global awareness, launched last year with the Year of Global Citizenship, will continue this year as the Global Issues Forum (GIF). Dr. Akan Malici, chair of the Steering Committee, describes the Global Issues Forum as a student-driven initiative to “recognize the need for all students to have a space where they can engage in thoughtful discourse on important global issues.”
Spearheading the Global Issues Forum is the Steering Committee, which is comprised of students, faculty, and administration. Many have been involved in the planning since last year’s Year of Global Citizenship, including students Emily Wirzba (’13), Michael Wyatt (’12), Edward Wixler (’12), and LeeGilmer (’12). The group believed that the campus-wide discussion should continue for another year.
Wyatt describes the GIF as an extension of the Year of Global Citizenship, expanding upon ideas that were not fully explored last year. The committee intends to make this year more ‘focused’ saysGilmer: “The Year of Global Citizenship didn’t have a theme; this year will be more focused. As opposed to being a year long, we’ve planned one month per semester.”
“We think students will be more interested and engaged if it’s for a shorter amount of time,” Wirzbasaid.
The spring semester will focus on “global water challenges,” but the fall semester will not have a specific theme. The committee, however, has organized panel discussions, exhibitions by keynote speakers and most notably dinners at faculty members’ homes. The dinners are open to all students, giving them the opportunity to engage in intimate discussion with faculty.
“We hope students will take advantage of it,” Malici said. “They may see sides of their professors that they usually don’t see.”
Accoring to Wirzba, this year’s events will be “less CLP-oriented” than last year’s.
“We are thinking of more creative, interactive ways to engage the student body,” she said.
The committee has also been collaborating with the Chaplain’s office—which is hosting an interfaithdialogue called From the Ground Up—to host upcoming panel discussions regarding the tenth anniversary of September 11.