by Tony Halsteindal
IT’S A NEW SEMESTER and a new Peace Committee has now embarked on a new school year here at the American College of Norway. This time around we are doing things a bit different. Since we’re are starting earlier than usual we are hoping to get more done and take a more pro-active approach towards peace.
Last semester we focused mainly on creating discussions surrounding issues of peace, which is very important in and of itself. Before anything can be done, it needs to be discussed. Well, this year we are hoping to get something done as well.
With this early start WE ARE FEELING OPTIMISTIC that our projects will pan out, with our sub-committees engage in planning of a fundraising event, a reach-out project looking to bring back the retro idea of ‘penpaling’ using social media, and blogging. And why wouldn’t be optimistic?!
We have a great set of new students in our committee this year, who are all enthusiastic and inspired to continue the “fight” for peace. With all this ‘doing’ we’ve got planned, we still haven’t forgotten about the vital ingredient from last semester, namely creating a discussion. The blog will be up and running to make sure that discussions are created. And with us this year we’ll have three regular bloggers on this site. Me, returning from last semester, Nardos Tekle, and Ole Hofsøy. I have no doubt that we have a great year ahead of us.
DESPITE ALL THE ‘TALKING’ we did last year, we still accomplished a lot in terms of creating a discussion and awareness. We were lucky enough to be able to send two of our students to the Nobel Peace Prize Forum in Minneapolis – Jordan Seneca and Elsa Lilja Gunnarsdottir. Jordan even held a presentation in Minneapolis explaining what we’d been doing here at ACN, as well as going into depth about three central questionS for peace development: What is peace? What is a global citizen? How can we ensure lasting peace? Meanwhile at ACN, students followed attentively the Nobel Peace Prize Forum over a live-stream and also arranged fun activities during the breaks. This ‘Weekend of Peace’ was all achieved thanks to a few student who volunteered to set it up – Emma Gjerdseth, Cheyenne Paris, Andrew Wynne and Maria Andersen.
BUT THAT WASN’T ALL WE DID! We had a wide range of contributions to the committee from a diverse set of students. Artwork was created based on impressions of what peace meant from our more artistic students – Charlotte Isabel Dos Santos and Live Skarbø. Charlotte also contributed with a song called “So Tired”. Another musical composition came from Sigrid Ravn Ryan, with a song called “Lost in Thoughts”. Sigrid even went so far as to make an amazing music video with fellow ACN’ers in front of the camera. The songs and video are available on this blog. Check ’em out!
BUT LET US NOT FORGET ABOUT THE BLOG. Regular bloggers included myself, Elsa G., and Isabell Grønnslett, but the blog also had one time contributions from several of our students. A big thanks goes also to Hayley Kuntz who administrated the blog and served as a right-hand for our student advisor, Becky Norvang, when dealing with the Peace Committee. To tie the projects all up, we held a presentation here at ACN going through all that we’d done that semester. We were even lucky enough to have Barry B. White, US ambassador of Norway, as a guest speaker.
So we accomplished a lot, but THE “FIGHT” FOR PEACE IS FAR FROM OVER. With an earlier start to the Peace Committee this year, we are eager to step up our game. The next year will be an exciting one and I am very eager to see what our new group will come up with.