The Clinton Global Initiative – a global activists group – may become a student society in Trinity this year.
The Clinton Global Initiative University, a specific division of the main initiative, was set up in 2007. It aims to develop and expand collective responsibility overseas and to address major global problems to affect real positive change. One CGIU spokesperson said the project has targeted students with the hope that they can offer ‘practical and innovative solutions’ to issues that will affect our futures.
Danielle Ryan, Trinity’s CGIU campus rep, is currently in the process of establishing CGIU as an official Trinity society. After applications to the CSC, signatures, and an approved society constitution, she hopes that CGIU will grow to become part of student’s everyday lives.
The inaugural meeting of the CGIU attracted thousands of students, university officials and global activists to Tulane University in New Orleans. The crowd comprised of people from nearly every state and over 15 countries. They pledged their support to initiatives fighting climate change, global health, poverty alleviation and human rights. Some programmes include teaming up with Brad Pitt’s ‘Make it right’ project, and preparing sites in New Orleans lower ninth ward (devastated by Katrina) for construction and regeneration.
Ryan pictures the initiative starting on a small scale, ensuring there are energy-efficient light bulbs in all classrooms or bike share programs, but hopes that once the society has established itself among students, then larger and more universal ‘commitments’ can start to be made. For example, one campus in America has begun to distribute life-saving water filtration kits and medical backpacks to nomadic doctors in Africa. Since the inaugural meeting, over 1000 commitments have been made by students worldwide.
President Clinton opened CGIU with these words, “Today’s generation of young people has more power to change the course of our future than any previous generation”, and it seems that with the hard work of Ryan, and the commitment of Trinity students, we too should work to effectively instigate positive change.