Rutgers Global Citizens raise awareness of international issuse
The Rutgers University Global Citizens Club aims to provide students with a sense of belonging to their original identity, as well as their community and the world.
By working with a partnership between local schools and a school in Gaborone, Botswana, they seek to empower the next generation of Global Citizens by promoting universal education on campus.
The club was created to spread global citizenry on campus, said Saba Yasmin, a School of Arts and Sciences junior and co-president of the club.
"Our general meetings tackles important issues like multiculturalism and women's rights around the world, and our events raise money for important initiatives like global education and domestic violence," she said.
From the first discussion that she attended, Val Melikhova, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore, knew that this was an organization that could really bring awareness and change at Rutgers.
"I decided to get even more involved by the end of the semester by running for a position in the club, and so far it's been a truly rewarding experience," she said. "I am glad to see how the Global Citizen family has grown in just a year."
The club has the potential to create change on campus simply by increasing awareness and empathy for global issues, Yasmin said.
But some difficulties they have dealt with include logistics and communication, she said. The club allows each member to have a say and voice their opinion and concerns, allowing them to easily solve these issues.
One of the main goals of the club is to have a stable and strong international partnership with a school overseas, said Meghan Margino, a School of Arts and Sciences junior and the club’s co-president.
The club works to serve as a conduit for cultural exchange between elementary students of different cultures.
Their largest accomplishments have been the ability to get people to discuss and learn about complicated global issues, Yasmin said. The club has steadily increased membership and continues to have that comfortable environment that allows each member to speak freely and learn more.
Some of the events the club has held include raising awareness for human trafficking, a coffeehouse for victims of domestic violence and soon, a benefit dinner for global education.
Marie Callahan, one of the co-founders of the club, said they would be holding a benefit for their future school partnership on March 25 at the Zimmerli Art Museum.
“All proceeds will be going directly to benefit this partnership to help it start off as strong as possible. We also support the UN Women's 16 Days Against Gender Based Violence campaign every year. We hold events to spread awareness. This is something I personally look forward to planning every year,” she said.
Yasmin said the club has increased her knowledge of global issues.
"I am also grateful for my wonderful team and our fantastic general members for the warm and welcoming atmosphere," she said.
Sanjana Chandrasekharan is a School of Arts and Sciences first-year student majoring in political science. She is a staff writer for The Daily Targum.