Eight NU groups plan Global Awareness Month

Lauren Mogannam

Three icebreaker speed dating rounds, dinner and a common goal of promoting justice kicked off Global Awareness Month at the Levere Memorial Temple Wednesday night.

Eight activism and social awareness groups on campus, including GlobeMed, Global Engagement Summit, NU Conference on Human Rights, Americans for Informed Democracy, NU Darfur Action Coalition, One Voice, Model Arab League and the Roberta Buffett Center for International and Comparative Studies. founded the month this year. A number of conferences, guest speakers, lectures and a One Voice bar night Thursday night are scheduled for the month.

The dinner Wednesday night was held so that students involved with the eight organizations could get to know one another and realize how many people are involved in the fight against social injustice, said SESP junior Shalyn Hockey, executive co-chair in NU’s Conference on Human Rights.

The organizers chose April because the three largest organizations, GlobeMed, Global Engagement Summit and NU Conference on Human Rights, have their annual conferences this month, Hockey said, one of the month’s planners.

“The reason we wanted to do this is that we feel that there is a disconnect between socially-aware organizations on campus,” she said. “We want to connect students with opportunities to become involved in domestic and international issues.”

Weinberg sophomore Sarah Malin, who is involved with the NU Conference on Human Rights, Model Arab League and Global Engagement Summit, also helped establish Global Awareness Month.

The organizers said they are looking forward to this month’s events, but Malin said she wishes they had begun publicizing sooner.

Since the coalition was founded at the beginning of 2008, the organizers only had a few months to inform students on campus.

“We started only two months ago, but I think it would be great if we can make this annual,” said Malin.

Although Global Awareness Month is in its early stages, many students and faculty members said think the newly-formed coalition will have an impact on campus.

“In the past there hasn’t been a coalition (of socially-aware groups) to share ideas,” said Weinberg junior Divya Mallampati, who is involved with GlobeMed.

Malin said her generation is often considered apathetic, but events such as those in Global Awareness Month show students are still involved with political and international issues.

“My parents say that my generation isn’t as vocal as students in the ’60s, but my generation is very active,” she said. “My generation is not as vocal, but we are organized and putting things together that will be more sustainable and lasting.”

Brian Hanson, assistant director of the Buffett Center for International and Comparative Studies, has worked with all the organizations taking part in Global Awareness Month. He said he is thrilled NU students have come together to form the coalition.

“One of the things that is remarkable here at Northwestern is the involvement of students and student groups in international issues,” he said. “The speakers that they bring, conferences and activities add immensely to life on campus.”

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