written by Lia Downing
This year, Sigma Iota Rho planned and executed it’s first pre-orientation program--Gateway to Global Citizenship—through which first year students had the chance to explore both the St. Louis area as well as their new community here at Wash. U. This program is part of a larger initiative of the First Year Center to help first year students build community and transition into college life.
All 40 participants learned about themselves and about each other through facilitated discussions, interactive outings and team building activities. Highlights of the program included a Bhangra Indian dance workshop, community service with the International Institute’s Global Farms, workshops with the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, outings to Olive Street and Cherokee Street and a Latin American film screening. With faculty participation from Professor Sanchez-Prado and Professor Gao-Miles, the program exposed students to contacts in both International Area Studies and Latin American Studies.
As one participant put it, “In this program, we explored our responsibilities as global citizens by first learning about ourselves. Then, through various workshops and heartfelt discussions, we explored problems currently plaguing our world, their origin, and how we can play a role in making the world a better place. I made wonderful friends I would not have met otherwise and discovered what it meant to be a part of the greater St. Louis community.”