Marshall students take steps toward global responsibility

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Student Leadership and Student Affairs at Marshall University taught students on Thursday what it means to be a global citizen and ways to improve their communities, as well as the world.

The event’s speaker and Intercultural Affairs administrator, Shaunte Polk, started the Living in a Global World event with a quiz. The quiz asked students various questions about their daily habits, assessing how global of a citizen they were.

“What a global citizen really is, is someone who is knowledgeable and active about things that are going on in their community, as well as outside their community in the world,” Polk said.

Admitting to students she herself still had work to do, Polk gave examples of what to do to become a more global citizen. She and Meena Elango, the event’s organizer and Marshall graduate student, said students can make a big difference in their global community by changing small things they do in their local communities.

“Little things like recycling or going to Walmart or what you eat can kind of define your role as far as understanding globalization,” Elango said.

Polk asked students about their ethnic and cultural backgrounds and told them being globally responsible can have a big effect on their relationships with others.

“You can’t just know what’s going on within your little bubble, because you’re going to interact with those outside of what you know,” Polk said. “Your community, your campus community, your home community. It is bigger, it’s broader.”

Elango said embracing global issues can help students become more well-rounded people.

“I think a lot of times us as students and people in general can be so ignorant and we speak on things that we don’t know about,” Elango said. “Having students immerse themselves into global cultures or understanding globalization will make them an overall better, more well-rounded person.”

Polk said not everyone is interested in being globally responsible, that some people are in too much of a rush to slow down and think about the big picture. She told students being globally responsible does not take much and someone can make a big difference with something as simple as a YouTube video.

Freshman political science major Zaire Chester said the event opened her eyes to the differences she could make in her community.

“I learned how to lead better and how to lead in the community, so I’m going to try to help in the Huntington area a little bit more,” Chester said.

The next event in Elango’s Leadership in the 21st Century series is scheduled to take place Thursday, April 13 at 6 p.m. and covers social media etiquette.

Ryan Murphy can be contacted at [email protected]

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