The Student News Site of Wofford College

Old Gold & Black

Breaking News
  • Issue 7 Out Now!

Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

OPINION: Men’s Basketball just won’t back down
Abigail Taylor, Contributing writer • February 27, 2024

Peace Fellows

Wofford students nominated as Peace Fellows attend Notre Dame’s student-led Peace Conference

During the weekend of March 29-30, 2019 Wofford seniors, Meghan Curran, Mahnoor Hag and Adrian Rentz attended the Student Peace Conference at Notre Dame. A self-proclaimed “annual academic conference organized by students, for students”, the conference earned the students the title of “Peace Fellows”, as they were nominated by Wofford’s Perkins-Prothro Chaplin Reverend Ron Robinson to attend.  

“This year is the second year in a row that we have selected students as Peace Fellows. This year’s selections have not only taken classes related to peace, but have conducted noteworthy capstone projects about cross-cultural peace work”, Robinson said.  

The conference is open to students from any college or university “who desire a space to dialogue on important issues related to peacebuilding, social justice and conflict transformation”, the conference’s website states. The second year in a row that Wofford has nominated students, Robinson says that he saw the opportunity “for our students to network with like-minded students about peace initiatives and how these initiatives can be used in their future careers.”  

Story continues below advertisement

“[The student’s] work has earned them induction into the Phi Beta Kappa society, although membership is not required to be considered as a Peace Fellow. Although all three students have done work in regards to religion (Adrian is a major and Mahnoor is a minor), eligibility to be a Peace Fellow is not contingent upon majoring or minoring in religion”, Robinson said of the Peace Fellow-selection process.  

The students who attended the conference admit that the experience contributed to discernment of their post-grad plans: “After attending the Peace Conference, I feel more informed about current events concerning peace, conflict and justice –- both here and abroad. I hope to use the knowledge and theories from the presentations and workshops I attended in my future studies. I’m also now considering applying to Notre Dame’s Master of Global Affairs International Peace Studies program!”, Curran said. 

Haq plans to pursue a Master’s degree in Area Studies in the areas of North Africa, Middle East and South Asia, and says that the conference resonated with her by helping solidify her desire to pursue this kind of graduate work, emphasizing the importance of global awareness. She said, “I realized that because we have all of the information we can possibl possess at our fingertips, the excuse that ‘oh, I didn’t know about that situation’ is not a valid one to give. We, as humans, have an obligation to care about all atrocities and all human rights violations that occur, whether they be on our own campus, in our country of America, or anywhere in the world.” 

Upon their return, the students were given the time and resources to reflect on what they had learned during their time at the conference. Among many things it taught her, Haq stated awareness as one of her biggest takeaways. She stated, “I think that so often we only care about those who belong to our specific religious group or ethnic group and then, have a very apathetic approach when dealing with the other and the others’ problems. This is an extremely harmful way of thinking and helps to cultivate all of the toxic mentalities of racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and ethnocentrism.” 

Similarly, Curran stated that her three biggest takeaways were, “learning how I can cultivate peace and cooperation in my personal relationships with others; gaining a deeper understanding of how women and LGBTQ+ communities can affect positive change in situations of conflict; and discovering some of the relationships between borders, migration and violence.”  

Haq continued, emphasizing the importance of conferences like the Peace Conference in the expansion of one’s education: “I think attending diverse panels and conferences opens your mind to the problems that plague countless groups of people and that information is the first step to actively do something about the problem, even if it is to just create awareness of the topic.”  

The Peace Fellows’ reflection upon their time at the conference stretched beyond personal, but reached as far as the Wofford student body as they proposed that Wofford consider a program in peace studies, an added opportunity for students which would be similar to a concentration or focus. 

Donate to Old Gold & Black
$0
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Wofford College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to Old Gold & Black
$0
$500
Contributed
Our Goal