As part of his regular contribution to the Student Life E-Connect Newsletter, Scott Weber shares his insights into recent events and news within the division.
With UB commencement weekend in the rear view mirror, Associate Director for Student Engagement Jude Butch and I had the good fortune of travelling to Berlin, Munich, and Vienna with 20 UB students as part of the SLIDE (Student Leadership International Dialogue and Exchange) program. SLIDE provides students from all backgrounds and majors with a better understanding of the world we live in. While gaining a global perspective on international culture, diversity and leadership, students soon realize that most opinions are porous across international boundaries.
Highlights of the 12 day trip included conversations in Berlin with a Muslim Cleric on immigration and refugee status in Europe and its political implications. Other important viewpoints were heard from Amnesty International in Munich and the United Nations in Vienna. In addition to our cultural exchanges, we were fortunate to visit many iconic landmarks and marvel at the effectiveness of their transportation systems.
A capstone moment for our group was the afternoon spent with students from Technical University of Munich (TUM). Gazing over multiple tables of UB students sharing ideas and common experiences with their counterparts proved to be inspirational.
Experiences like this remind us that we have much more in common with the world than points of divergence. Watching our students head out for a shared night on the town with TUM students reinforced to me, the commonalities we all share. Programming such as SLIDE, made possible through Student Life, reinforces our mission to provide UB students the opportunity to build communities and encourage discovery, both here and on a global stage.
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