The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Students visit the United Nations

In an effort to reinforce St. John’s commitment to preparing students for a global society, a group of students and faculty traveled to the United Nations Missions of Italy and Indonesia in midtown New York City on March 23 to discuss the U.N.’s continuing public campaign to diminish world poverty by 2015.

The trip, which was sponsored by the Lower Hudson Valley Catholic College and University Consortium, and co-organized by the Office of Multicultural Affairs,
was the latest in a series of recent St. John’s initiatives to promote campus-wide
awareness of global politics.

The trip allowed undergraduates from member institutions of the consortium to spend the morning at various missions, conversing with secretaries and counselors.

Each school in the consortium divided students into two groups, sending them to the Missions of one developing and one developed country. During the second half of the day, students from all schools convened at nearby Church of the Holy Family to compare their experiences. Reggie Barnes, St. John’s Director of Multicultural Affairs, who accompanied students to the two missions, said that these types of fieldtrips are crucial for St. John’s undergraduates, who “need to be prepared for the global society they’re
going to enter once they graduate.

“Our goal was not only to find out how each country addresses the Millennium Development Goals, but how their approaches differ and why,” he continued. “Although our students researched their assigned country before visiting the mission, their discussions with the mission representatives far exceeded what they could have ever learned on their own.”

The topic of the daylong event centered on the U.N. Millennium Development Campaign, which was created by a signed declaration during the 2000 U.N. Millennium Summit and is composed of eight goals devoted to worldwide social justice.

The eight Millennium Goals include eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality and empowering women, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensuring environmental sustainability, and developing a global partnership for development.

“Just looking throughout the student body, I notice several different ethnicities and I’m glad that the university is now focused on the salvation of others and creating U.N. missions,” said senior Jessica Schwartz.

Junior Leslie Montero added that she’s “proud to be a part of the St. John’s University community because our vital work contributes to the elimination of the Darfur genocide, violence, poverty, and destruction.”

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