Welcome to the World Affairs Seminar 2019: The Promise & Perils of Social Media. We have gone to great lengths to make sure week ahead is among the most amazing experiences in your life to date. As a Student Delegate, you are one of over 30,000 individuals from more than Fifty Nations who share the rare experience of having attended the World Affairs Seminar since it was founded in 1977. Why do we call you a delegate? Because you are not alone – you represent your school, your town, your state and country, your family and your friends.
Why do we call you a delegate? Because you represent your school, your town, your state and country, your family and your friends. We hope you will bring what you have learned back to these groups and enlighten them with your new insights.
This year WAS delegates hail from five continents, more than thirty different nations, five Canadian Provinces and 22 U.S. States. If you do not see your culture or country of origin listed, please tell us and we’ll make sure it is recognized. Reach out and get to know as many as possible.
During your time at WAS you will have the opportunity to hear and interact with international experts, learn about your personal learning and teaching habits and (here’s the best part) get to know and learn from bright, enthusiastic, incredible people from around the globe.
Because WAS is a time for sharing and vetting ideas and opinions, it is important for you to be open and respectful to your fellow delegates and to the speakers you will encounter, whether or not you agree with them. There is a wide chasm between “disagree” and “disrespect.” Many close friends disagree yet find common ground for friendship and respect. A good example is Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Justice Antonin Scalia. Although they disagreed they held one another in the highest regard. We hope for no less from each of you. No one at WAS should ever be made to feel badly about their beliefs, points of view or position, especially by a delegate colleague. It is always appropriate to say “I appreciate and respect your ideas or beliefs and will think about them.”
The value of the World Affairs Seminar can be immeasurable – but it will only benefit you if you participate fully. As you experience and learn, savor the opportunity to meet new people. Be bold – share your ideas and open yourself to challenge, absorb, learn and grow. When the week is over – and believe me, it will be over far too soon – I hope you will do two things. First, take time to reflect on what you have learned. Not just about Social Media. This is simply a learning platform. No, take time to reflect on how you have grown as an individual who is ready and capable. Second, please share your experience with others so they too can become part of WAS. Tell your friends and classmates – and if you were sponsored by a Rotary Club or other organization, go back and make a presentation so they can see the full value of the investment they made in your future. Join the WAS Delegate Group and after you leave, the WAS Alumni Facebook group. We hope you find time to express your opinions about topics for future Seminars and new ways of implementing our teaching methods.
Have a great week. If you run into any snags, please tell your counselor or come to the WAS office and ask for one of us (Mike or Tom) or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You will also have an opportunity to provide feedback within our digital Guidebook. We can’t fix it if we don’t know about it!
Thanks for being part of the World Affairs Seminar. Have a terrific week filled with fun and adventure.
See you in June!
Thomas M. Plantenberg
Michael Carriere, PhD