Students trying to create a new campus organization hope the group’s partnership with a North Texas nonprofit will provide opportunities for students to become more aware of world affairs.
The World Affairs Council, a North Texas nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that aims to educate the public on world affairs, plans to partner with the university to start a Junior World Affairs Council on campus, said Matt Buongiorno, a junior political science major who is leading the partnership.
Buongiorno said one of the greatest benefits about the partnership will be the chance for students to see high-profile speakers like U2’s Bono and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, whose visits are sponsored by the World Affairs Council.
“People pay to see these people,” Buongiorno said. “But our affiliation would allow students to go to these events for free.”
The World Affairs Council made 10 free tickets available to students to see Ambassador Henry Crumpton, an expert on counterterrorism, speak at an event in Fort Worth today, Buongiorno said.
Elise Smith, a sophomore political science major who is an intern with the council, said the council’s initiative to start chapters at universities began last semester. She said the organization has not yet officially been approved on campus because of postponed meetings, but group organizers will meet with Student Development Services soon.
“We are trying to reach out to college students to get them involved,” she said.
Once approved, organizers of the club plan to partner with Model United Nations to work to educate the student body about important world affairs, Smith said.
Eric Cox, assistant professor of political science and director of the Model UN program, said the new organization will prepare students to participate in Model UN activities. Every fall, TCU students have the opportunity to attend a co-curricular Model UN conference.
“This organization will provide students with a strong foundation of student leadership to take the lead in preparation for the conference,” he said.
Buongiorno said he hopes the group will allow students from diverse backgrounds to participate, instead of just political science majors.
Caitlin Lippert, a sophomore political science major, said she thinks some students seem to be informed about world events, but a majority of them do not make it a priority.
“It is important for all individuals to be informed so that they can develop their own opinions and hopefully, if need be, create change in our world,” she said.
Buongiorno said the organization should be in full swing by next semester. Once approved, he said, there will be officer elections and planning will begin for next semester’s activities.