International Students Discuss Local and Global Politics

SUU students were treated to political insights from a trio of international students Thurs Nov. 1. Students shared what their governments are like and their views on American politics.

The group of panelists comprised freshmen Hospitality major Abdulelah Pakhrani of Saudi Arabia, Masters of Professional Communication Thesia Ketu hailing from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and a senior semester abroad student Sander Vendoorn, who is studying Business MIT in his native Netherlands.

Nouman Kante, a member of the Leavitt Center Fellows and a junior Business Management major, moderated the event. Kante is an international student himself from Mali African Ouelessebougou.

“Leavitt Center is trying to educate our students to be involved in their country’s politics,” Kante said. “We brought in international panelists because we felt that we have a lot of international students here at SUU whose political background we don’t know.”

Panelists discussed a number of topics about their native countries, including how government officials are elected, how U.S. politics is viewed, whether or not higher education is financially accessible and patriotism or national pride.

Of the latter subject panelist Thesia Ketu commented, “Patriotism is a very big concept in my country. Personally I feel I am one of the biggest fan of my country. I am Congolese and proud and I say it every time.”

Kante further remarked that you don’t have to be a political science major or be a fan of politics, but students will certainly benefit from coming to the Leavitt Center and listening and participating because almost everything has a political aspect.

Jordan Whitlock, an undeclared freshman, was among the active audience participants who asked questions during the latter part of the meeting.

“I thought it was really nice to be able to hear others people’s perspectives are on our government here in the U.S.,” Whitlock said. “I love to hear about what other people are thinking about us and see what we can learn from everyone else.”

Kante, recognizing the importance international students play in diversifying the campus, hopes to see more international panels in the semesters and years to come.

Don’t forget to stay up to date with all events held by the Leavitt Center and International Affairs.

Story by: Reyce Knutson
Photo Courtesy of: The Leavitt Center