UN Day brings students together

Twenty-two international student organizations came together on Tuesday to celebrate United Nations Day.

This year’s theme, “Without a trace, disappearing minorities,” focused on how groups all over the world are disappearing due to migration, genocide, murder or persecution.

“When we met at the COISO retreat, it was the one thing that every international organization felt that they could identify with” said Kareem Hull, president of the Caribbean Students Association, referring to the Council of International Students and Organizations.

A panel discussion sponsored by Model UN on Tuesday night dealt with the influence of migration on developing countries turned into a debate between panel leaders Thomas Boswell and John Bryan Page.

Boswell said that there are some winners and some losers in immigration and Page said that immigration occurs and cannot be controlled. The two expressed these and other views while personally attacking the opposing side.

On the UC patio during the day, each organization participating in UN Day displayed a poster that presented issues relevant to the countries they represented, allowing students to see which countries shared common problems.

For instance, many organizations discussed a phenomenon known as “braindrain.” This term describes when all the educated, skilled workers leave their native country for better opportunities elsewhere-resulting in a diminishing educated class in developing nations.

Other topics included the disappearance of female blue-collar workers in Juarez, Mexico; refugee situations in the Sudan; and the Israeli Project Solomon, during which persecuted Ethiopian Jews were airlifted out of their country and brought to Israel.

Through UN day the COISO sought to bring together all the clubs under a common purpose.

“UN Day shows how the whole world unites” senior Joe Brutus said.

Two student groups also performed at the event.

Hurricane Bhangra performed a traditional Indian dance and Oasis, the Arab student organization, performed an interactive folk dancing tutorial, teaching audience members how to dance.

“It is nice that even though the students here don’t live in the countries that they are representing, they still care enough to come out and educate people,” junior Gloria Chow said. “It is a call to help protect minority groups and to preserve their own cultural identity.”

Karunya Krishnan may be contacted at k.krishnan@umiami.edu.