Student committee to be part of IGC

By Kristin Riegel

Since well before the announcement of the Institute for Global Citizenship’s (IGC) launch in 2005, the term “global citizenship” has been used everywhere in the Macalester community, from the classroom to the admissions office. To develop a working definition of the global citizenship, the IGC created a student advisory committee to develop and implement a survey to determine students’ understanding of what global citizenship is and how it applies to their lives and the community at large. Two hundred and forty seven students participated in the online survey sent out earlier this semester, which included questions such as, “What do you think a global citizenship looks like?” and “Do you consider yourself a global citizen?” Through the results of the survey and interviews conducted with students, the student advisory committee gained a general understanding of how Macalester students define global citizenship. Nonetheless, committee members also have their own opinions about how the concept should be understood.

“The definition of global citizenship should be personal,” said Alese Colehour ’09, a member of the IGC student committee. “Students should not look to an institute to define global citizenship. For me, global citizenship is about the connections. We are not isolated and it’s time to recognize our everyday decisions affect other life on this planet.”

Members hope that ultimately the body will become an instrumental part of the IGC and its relationship to the campus at large.

“I really think that if the Institute for Global Citizenship is going to take off, it is going to be through the students,” said David Boehnke ’07, a leading figure on the IGC student advisory committee.

Members are in the process of negotiating the committee’s future role within the institute with Professor Andrew Latham and Professor Ahmed Samatar, two of the deans of the IGC.

“I think one of the most important goals of this committee is to offer the opportunity to bring together diverse people to a place where they can educate each other on how they each define global citizenship,” said Blaise Wallack ’08, a member of the IGC student advisory committee.

The committee has twelve members, but they hope to add more as its mission and goals become more concrete. Meetings are held on Mondays at 4:45 P.M. in Kagin 003.