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Peacebuilidng Opening Social

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Students gathered to hear Chad Ford speak about the Peacebuilding program and its purposes. Ford, director of the David O. Mckay Center for Intercultural Understanding, emphasized David O. Mckay’s vision for BYUH. McKay had said, “You mark that word, and from this school, I’ll tell you, will go men and women whose influence will be felt for good towards the establishment of peace internationally.”Ford said he had two hopes for this event, “One: people in the program who don’t know each other get a chance to meet. And two: to introduce the program to people who don’t know about the workshops and other services.”The chairs were completely filled with students to listen and learn about what the peacebuilding program has to offer. Sophia Hutchison, a freshman majoring in peacebuilding from Michigan, said she came to the social to “learn about more opportunities with the program.”The night started off with a brief introduction of the field directors and their specific areas of work within the program. Throughout the night, the participants had the option to go to four different workshops: a basic introduction of the Peacebuilding program, a mediation seminar, an Arbinger seminar and service workshop. All of the brief, ten-minute seminars were lead by the field directors.Madisen Hardisty and Jaden McCarrey, two field directors, taught the mediation seminar. In their seminar, they explained the professional and interpersonal career opportunities Peacebuilding opens up. The two went on to explain a few of the projects they are working on. Currently, they are starting to issue a “pilot peer mediation agreement” with BYUH Housing. The reason for this peer mediation agreement is so students within the peacebuilding program can get more hands-on experience dealing with live mediation. They also mentioned students who are not involved in the program could come to any one of the mediation meetings on Tuesday nights from 6-9 p.m. to learn more about transformational mediation.The Arbinger seminar was lead by Chris Pineda, who outlined the philosophy of Arbinger, which is about behavior and ways of being. During his brief time, he gave some insight into the basis of peacebuilding ideas. Pineda also works with Housing, Food Services, Athletics and the Polynesian Cultural Center. The service seminar was lead by field directors Raj Kumar and LJ Mariteragi. The two discussed the service the Peacebuilding program does with the Laie community, including how the field directors are working on a service project to clean up the Laie Cemetery. As the seminars concluded, Shemaina Jory-Miller, a senior majoring in Peacebuilding from Arizona, said, “The biggest thing I wanted people to get out of this is to understand who they are.” She went on to explain that she wanted it to be an eye-opening experience and that she wants students to understand what it means to be a student and what good they can do in the world. Uploaded March 2, 2015
Writer: Alyssa Troyanek