Conference localizes global issues

From a student standpoint, the seventh annual TCU Inclusiveness Conference presented issues that aren’t commonly discussed in the classroom setting, and from the faculty and staff perspective, it gave students the opportunity to grow, said Greg Trevi¤o, director of intercultural services.Students attended sessions on genocide, the role of the media, the impact of religion in the United States and women in developing worlds.

“I’ve learned more at this conference than what I hear from word of mouth and the media,” Cleda Wang, a sophomore biology major, said.

Students attending the genocide session were presented with examples and a discussion about the progression from classifying the differences of others to the dehumanization and extermination of those groups.

Senior Tim Nullan said he found the conference interesting, especially as a social work major.

“I honestly didn’t know anything about genocide before I attended the session,” Nullan said.

The “Women in the Developing World” session discussed the roles of women throughout society and the economic effects of globalization on women in the third world.

Women are seen as a wasted economic expense by many in the third world because the family must pay for a daughter’s care, education and wedding, even though she will not return any benefit to the family after marrying, said Carrie Liu Currier, the professor running the session.

She went on to say that many women are tricked into prostitution in developing countries not only by men, but by other women due to a lack of economic options.

Other sessions were about the sensational nature of many news stories and the effect of the media circus mentality, as well as a discussion about the role of religion in the United States.

Wang said she feels better informed about the issues discussed and found it beneficial to hear other people’s comments.

Approximately 180 people attended the conference, said Darron Turner, assistant vice chancellor for student affairs.

Turner said the large turnout could be attributed to the speakers at this year’s conference.

Wang said the professors were amazing and made good choices for the conference.

Although students received excused absences to attend the conference, they also said missing class was not their motivation for attending.

Solomon Sonya, a sophomore computer science major, said he missed part of the conference to attend class and then return.

Pauline Cooper, a sophomore secondary education major, said missing classes was not a bonus because she would have to make up all the work.

“But this only comes up once in a while,” Cooper said. “You have class every week.”

Students, faculty and staff had varied reasons to attend the conference.

Cooper said she wanted to attend because people don’t focus on the issues going on in other countries.

Trevi¤o said each person at the conference could gain something from the big issues they would be discussing.

Ann Reynolds, director of University Career Services, said that in career services, she deals with culture all the time, and it is important to keep up to date and educated on the issues.

“The more we can learn, the more valuable we can be to our students and our employers,” Reynolds said.

– Staff Reporters Alison Rubinson and Jeniffer Berry; Opinion Editor Brian Chatman; and Managing Editor Courtney Reese contributed to this article.