It is time for Baruch students to sit back, listen and most importantly take advantage of what Baruch College has to offer.
Baruch offers events, clubs and organizations to students, which many seem to undervalue and often not recognize at all.
Since Baruch is considered a commuter school, it is important to highlight events going on in school and get the student body involved.
The yearly Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference (NAFAC) is held in Washington D.C., and is a gathering of influential undergraduates, midshipmen and international students from around the United States and the world.
This year’s theme, “Eclipse of the West?” was targetted to the government, making sure that they keep good relations with specifically, Asia-Pacific nations.
This year’s speakers included Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Ambassador Jon Huntsman, Senator Chuck Hagel, Dr. John Nagl, Ambassador Paul Wolfowitz.
This event is funded by CUNY and each year they invite a few eligible students, with GPAs 3.5 or higher, to attend so they can participate and learn from social problems that exist in our country.
One student in particular believes that the Baruch community should take advantage of these sponsored events because they are beneficial, once in a lifetime opportunity.
Myurvet Shaban Mehmed, a junior at Baruch who is studying international relations said, “The Naval Academy forgein affairs conference is a conference that is organized every year. This year, the fees were paid by CUNY. It was advertised by the International Student Center.”
The very first night of the conference, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressed midshipmen and delegates in the Alumni Hall. She focused her remarks on maintaining good U.S. relations with the Asia Pacific Region, the shift to new allies and the diffusion of power.
Clinton addressed the need to summit good economic and political ties with the Asia-Pacific nations especially China, telling how China and America are good for each other.
“The future growth depends on reaching further into Asia’s growing consumer base and expanding middle class. Indeed, the shape of the global economy, the advance of democracy and human rights, and our hopes for a 21st century less bloody than the 20th century all hinge to a large degree on what happens in the Asia Pacific,” Clinton said.
Clinton then focused on how U.S. is shifting to new allies and welcomes new powers
“So just as we are not losing old friends, we are not seeking new enemies […] Now this is not 1912, when friction between a declining Britain and a rising Germany set the stage for global conflict. It’s 2012, and a strong America is welcoming new powers into an international system designed to prevent global conflict.”
Clinton elucidated the differences of powers in the government by saying that it is not one hegemonic power anymore. A diffusion of powers exists and the international system based on these principles helped fuel, not foil, the rise of China and other emerging powers such as India and Indonesia.
At the end, as a thank you, Clinton was presented with a USNA track suit which she wore. This conclusion gave one student the chance to speak out on behalf of herself and for her school community.
“For the past 6 months I have really involved with college. Every student should get more involved by networking and gaining the American experience as an international student,” Mehmed said.
The three day conference ended without a definite answer to the question, “Eclipse of the West?” but it provided an outstanding opportunity for midshipmen to learn about the global forces and to delegates understanding of how much effort, selfless and hard work takes to be in the Navy.
There are few questions the global world is facing today that we need to take into consideration and address.
These questions include: Are we witnessing an “Eclipse of the West?” if we do and if the West is due to yield to a successor, who will that successor be and will they seek to displace, to dominate, or to replicate the West’s achievement?
The NAFAC is imperative for students because it is a debate for them to network with the society and could bring positive feedback for all.
“Attending this event changed me for good. To see how much the military is working for this country. I truly believe that Americans don’t give the military enough justice for everything they have been doing,” Mehmed said.
In particular, this event should be a mind-opener for the remaining Baruch student body so they understand how essential it is to contribute to and most importantly take advantage of these complimentary amenities.
The International Student Organization is one of the many well structured clubs that solely focuses on making a better Baruch.