This semester, I decided to step back from my involvement in Model UN. I still absolutely love it and it was a difficult decision, but I wasn’t going to be able to put in the time and effort it deserves. I hope to rejoin next semester and be able to balance my time in MUN with my other time commitments. For this semester, it meant finding a new international organization! I applied and was accepted to the IAS Student Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, an issue that overlaps with Model UN and is near and dear to my heart.
Diversity and inclusion are the main focus at OU, and rightly so, as they are major issues that all students face. We each come from a unique intersectionality of identities and every person deserves inclusion, but this is easier said than done. Especially on the international stage, tolerance and inclusion are often major issues that don’t have an easy answer. From funding issues, to American interventionism, to racial tension, diversity and inclusion are integral to many international conversations and organizations. Although we’re only one committee at OU, we have tried to do our part in raising awareness surrounding issues of diversity and inclusion. Our main event this semester was a film screening of “Out in the Dark,” a film that raises a discussion about inclusion of the LGBT community and issues around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The very definition of marginalized is “pushed to a place of marginal importance,” and marginalized groups are often not included in conversations or opportunities, or even social groups, as non-marginalized groups. This film discusses the marginalization of LGBT people, while also touching on the tense topic of racial inclusion, as far as land appropriation and labeling go.
I’ve really enjoyed my time with the IAS Student Advisory Committee this semester, raising and discussing important issues of power, inclusion, and acceptance. I hope to be able to continue with it next semester!