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HPU explores meaning of global citizenship

by Saida Oliver, Women's Life editor


In an effort to create “global citizens,” HPU holds several events each semester to help students explore the world with a global perspective. One such event, the Global Citizenship Student Symposium, was held at the Hawai‘i Loa campus, April 23.

The symposium was designed to have participants inspire one another and discuss what it takes to be a global citizen. Opening remarks were given by Dr. Nancy Hedlund, associate vice president of Planning and Assessment. To initiate discussion, Hedlund asked thought-provoking questions: “Is it better to work for low wages in poor conditions or not to work at all? And who is it better for?”


“What is our ecological footprint in life?”

“ Is peace the same thing as justice?”

Hedlund later turned the podium over to Dr. Elaine Madison who presented a workshop on effective interactive discussion and feedback. A mock argument on narrow-minded perspectives intensified the urge for people to articulate how they felt. “This was actually really interesting,” said sophomore, Ashley Thompson: “I really wanted to get in the argument and give my point of view.”

After lunch, participants separated into small groups in different classrooms where four groups presented their vision of what it takes to be a global citizen using very diverse methods. One group played music. Another group got participants to put together a picture puzzle of Intercultural Day. The last two groups instigated discussions. The intimate, open debate setting allowed participants to fully contribute their thoughts, feelings, and beliefs about the complex topic.

The day was topped off with a performance by The World Citizen Dance Studio. The group communicated their message with fantastic, attention-grabbing movement. It was a great way to conclude the day.

Dr. Elaine Madison, associate professor of English at HPU, commented on the progression of the symposium: “It use to be a very intellectual day. Then personality came more into play. Now, it’s so great to see that physicality has come into this day.”


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