Videoconference Forum Brings Political Views Together
March 3, 2005 10:25 AM
SF State students and representatives from Americans for Informed Democracy (AID) met last night on the SF State campus, via conferencing technology. Students from around the globe were given a forum in which to discuss American power and global security.
Using videoconferencing technology, students from the University of Denver, University of Illinois, University of the Philippines Manila, University of Canberra, Australia and SF State were able to not only see but hear each other in real time, as well as exchange a wide range of political viewpoints “face to face.”
“This type of diplomacy - exchanging ideas internationally - even within our own United States, is really what is the key to uniting and creating better foreign policy and peace,” said SF State student and AID member Susan Thompson.
A dozen students gathered in the ground level audio visual room of the J. Paul Leonard Library, ready to listen and discuss a wide range of issues, including the 2004 election results, the newly announced nuclear weapons of North Korea, and, the media’s role in informing Americans.
It became apparent that students from the Philippines, Australia, Illinois and SF State didn’t see eye-to-eye on U.S. foreign policy, with the students from Denver taking the most conservative stance. Students from the University of Oklahoma were also supposed to join the conservative side with Denver, but video malfunctions made it impossible for them to connect.
“We really have to empower ourselves as citizens, to take diplomacy into our own hands and if we see the world or our country going into a particular direction that we feel is misguided then we need to take it back,” said one SF State student. “This videoconference is a wonderful example of citizen to citizen diplomacy and a way for us to improve our image abroad.”
Australia seemed to take the lead in many of the conversations with strong opinions against America’s media outlets, its claimed solo activities and aggressive foreign policies.
“Particularly in the last four or five years, the US has been acting like a rogue. And while it’s legitimate for the U.S. to be called upon at times to use its power to protect global security, it’s important to remember that using American power should almost always be done under the legitimacy of some sort of multinational institution,” said one student from University of Canberra, Australia. “The world is almost certainly a less safe place now after the invasion … this sent a signal to the world that the U.S. no longer respects the authority of the United Nations.”
The Philippines, resolute in their stance, continued to uphold and reinforce its position on America’s aggressive foreign policy and argued what needs to be done to change it.
“The U.S. needs to exhaust all other alternatives and submit to the U.N.’s actions before taking it upon themselves. Admittedly, we are living in a unilateral world where the U.S. is taking a lead in securing world peace,” said one student from University of Philippines Manila. “The problem is that this act of the U.S. instigates terrorists groups and allies to gang up on the US … that’s the main reason why there are threats to America … it is wise for the U.S. to rethink its policies and deviate from its aggressive stand.”
Denver commented on the media’s role in creating perceptions and the need for third party media watchdogs.
“It (people’s perceptions) makes a mockery of media and makes us look like idiots in the way we go about our research,” said one student from University of Denver. “We need to start with the media and how they approach young students in this country and how they perceive it. In order for them to get really a clear sense we need to go ahead and engage in these third party media watchdogs to make sure that we are really getting our news.”
AID is a non-partisan, not for profit organization, working to raise global awareness on more than 175 U.S. university campuses and in more than 10 countries. Through town hall meetings, leadership retreats, opinion pieces and reports on issues AID aspires to create a new generation of globally conscious leaders.
“Now more than ever it is an essential right and duty for our generation, within the United States and the rest of the world, to be informed on issues affecting us all,” said SF State student Veronica Canton, campus coordinator for the SF State chapter of AID. “It is our duty to be involved in our communities to raise awareness, to take responsibility of making our common goals a reality and to define our role in the world as a positive example for generations to follow.”
POST A COMMENT
|BACK TO TOP|| |
Copyright © 2008 [X]press | Journalism Department - San Francisco State University