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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Global Perspectives Forum allows students to debate world affairs

Anneli Larson
From left, Vice President Rehan Ameen, Club Advisor Steven Clark, and Club President Francis Jacobs discuss plans for the Global Perspectives Forum Club at the final meeting of the year, on May 8 at City College in Santa Barbara Calif.

With so much division, conflict, and animosity worldwide, grasping a proper concept of how to deal with issues like this proves difficult. City College’s new club, the Global Perspectives Forum Club, acts as a segue for students of all backgrounds to join and discuss global topics. The club aims to expand students’ knowledge of security, economic, and environmental issues that pertain to everyone. In discussing, understanding, and analyzing global issues from a diverse array of perspectives, the club aims to create an environment for all students to join. 

“We thought, ‘how can we just spread what’s going on in the world to the campus,’” Francis Jacobs, political science major and president of the club, said. 

The club’s purpose is not to convince students of any club leader’s opinions, but rather to float out ideas and allow members to discuss topics of their liking. 

“One of the first things we want to acknowledge is that we [club leaders] are non-partisan,” Jacobs said. “This aims to be a respectful environment, and we want to hear your opinions on things; it just shouldn’t disrespect another person and their beliefs.” 

One way the club aims to achieve this is by putting students in scenarios, like a mock United Nations or Security Council-style event where students can act as different countries and work out contingencies in hopes of expanding their knowledge of world affairs. 

“With what is going on right now, with several emerging wars, we want to act as a non-partisan place for students to have the opportunity to learn and debate their understandings of what is happening in the world,” Jacobs said. “We don’t want animosity within the club; we want to uphold respect for others’ opinions while we debate world affairs and spread knowledge.” 

With only two weeks left in the academic year, the club’s meetings are acting more as prep meetings to plan for the 2024-25 year. According to Jacobs, the meetings currently involve discussing potential guest speakers and planning events. 

“As of now, we are just in the process of setting the groundwork for what’s to come with the club,” Jacobs said. “The biggest thing is we are trying to build a good base to really kick it off next school year with a huge emphasis on the club.”

Various ideas in the works include exchanging ideas between students, hosting guest speakers, and mainly building relationships within the City College community. More on the club’s mission can be found on the Global Perspectives Forum Club page. 

Meetings are held from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. every Wednesday in City College’s Interdisciplinary Center Building Room 206.

“Clubs like this are important because in such an unprecedented time,” Jacobs said. “Having a club like this positively impacts the students in which they will be getting world information from reliable sources rather than Instagram or TikTok.” 

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