Learn more about world issues to meet growing demands of globalization
At least 161,000 people have died in the Darfur region of Sudan since March 2003. That’s according to the U.S. State Department’s estimates. The causes are far from what we Americans would call typical-starvation, malnutrition, and mass murder. But not many people actually know all of this, primarily because they do not take the time to read about it, think about it and call on someone to do something about it.
Yet therein lies the problem: It’s not a matter of who would do these things, but instead a matter of who should.
As the clich phrase goes, we are the leaders of tomorrow. And it’s true. It seems that college students are more technologically sophisticated and well-versed than most others, so we should be able to brush up on their global awareness.
‘The attentive public is actually a very small part of the overall American public,’ said Francine D’Amico, associate professor of international relations. She said that only 10 to 15 percent of people fit this definition of the American public. Speaking about the war in Iraq, D’Amico said, ‘There’s not as much attentiveness to it as there could be given our level of access to media outlets.’
‘For most people, the war is not on their minds on a daily basis,’ she said. D’Amico noted, however, that college students and the residents of garrison towns like Fort Drum tend to be more conscious of international affairs because of their ability to obtain information more readily. D’Amico is proud of her own international relations students’ commitment to making a difference.
She said that 42 percent of students who double major here at SU do it with international relations.
That’s certainly impressive, but as globalization continues to impact us, a fraction of students being proactive simply isn’t good enough. By all means, those students deserve commendation for their inquisitive nature and studies abroad, but not all students follow this minority’s lead.
Divya Kurup, a graduate information technology major and president of the Association of International Students, believes that citizens concern themselves with their own country’s interaction with other countries while often turning a blind eye to the broader picture.
‘If I go back to my place, I would want peace between India and Pakistan,’ Kurup said. ‘If I (live) near Lebanon, Syria, and Israel, I would want all of those countries to be living in peace.’
Most of the students, especially the board members of her organization, are alert about the issues facing each other’s homelands. Outside of the group, however, some people are ‘clueless.’ For instance, Kurup recalls a graduate student telling her that he thought people still rode on elephants in India.
It is important that everyone know more about the world in which we live. As Professor D’Amico made clear, ‘Our silence is our consent’ to whatever issues we face.
Daniel Longo is a contributing columnist whose columns run biweekly in The Daily Orange. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thomas Wolfe is leaving his position as senior vice president and dean of student affairs to become the new president of Iliff School of Theology… Read more »
UPDATED: MAY 15, 4:35 p.m. Syracuse University students will soon see new living options in downtown Syracuse, after a new construction company revamps a vacant… Read more »
THEY'RE BACK: Syracuse pulls off furious comeback win against Yale to return to final four after longest absence since 1979
COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Brian Megill sprinted over to Dominic Lamolinara and catapulted into his arms. The game was over. The unthinkable was no longer… Read more »