International Group: ICDG
My international group I chose to join this year was the informed citizen discussion group offered by the honors college. In ICDG, we get together once a week and discuss. The range of topics discussed is vast, but mostly revolves around current events, political chaos, leadership of countries, and major global issues. Generally, the point of the group is to come away with a better understanding of what is happening in the world after hearing the opinions of various people on a set of topics.
Every time I attend an ICDG meeting, I am amazed. While occasionally it’s the tragic events being discussed that amaze me, mostly it is the people I am discussing them with who truly astound me. The caliber of students involved in these groups is highly impressive as the typical person who joins ICDG is joining because they have a genuine interest in being educated on world events as well as on how to improve the world.
Although I like to share my opinions, my favorite part of being in ICDG is to listen to the brilliant things all my group members have to say. I think sometimes it’s easy to forget that we can learn volumes and increase our intelligence by earnestly listening to what others have to say rather than constantly competing to be the loudest voice in the room. As a result of being surrounded by people who obtain unique and innovative ideas concerning the world we live in, I have expanded and enhanced my own point of view and level of understanding when it comes to many issues.
One topic that was particularly popular to discuss this past semester was the presidential race, as it is the main event being aired on most news stations. While I quickly got burnt out on hearing the merry go round of statements by the various candidates running in the race, ICDG renewed my interest in the race for a different reason. Many of my group members specialized in government and exposing the various hidden facets of our political system which remain largely obscure to the general public. As a result of the numerous discussions we had on the hypothetical possibilities concerning the presidential race, I learned a myriad of new things about the loopholes and surprising laws that outline the process of electing presidents in the US.
This is just one example of the ways that ICDG has enriched by understanding of the environment in which I live and the laws which bolster it. ICDG has challenged me to individually pursue information on topics that interest me when I am not taught about them in my basic education. It also challenged me to take a frank look at my personal views and reflect on why I believed in them so fervently, because I was faced with convincing, passionate arguments from people who held opposing views. In general, ICDG pushes you to become a more informed, mature, effective citizen and I am lucky to have been affected by the special people who participated in my group.