On Oct. 21, students from Minot State University and Brandon University met at the 59th annual Peace Garden Conference to discuss important international issues.
Students and faculty from both universities presented papers on international topics, such as environmental concerns, water issues, and national security. Presenting students arrived from Brandon University, even though the faculty members were on strike. Minot State's presenters in attendance were Aaron Severson, Jolita Bennett and Kevin Matze.
The presenters read their papers and then the floor was opened for discussion. It was a style of conference neither of us had experienced, and it was a bit intimidating to jump into the conversation. Once the conversation got moving, though, it was easier to speak up. With cookies, muffins, and an endless supply of coffee on hand, the students slowly began to interact with each other. As the conversations progressed, though, everyone was boldly speaking out about their opinions.
Submitted Photo - - Students and faculty members debate the issues at the Peace Garden Conference Oct. 21.
It was extremely interesting to hear all of the different opinions and experiences concerning each of the topics. The topic that caused the most conversation was the summer flooding.
Students from both universities experienced and were affected by the flood. We discussed the preventive measures, management of the flood waters themselves, and the consequences in both cities.
National security was also a main topic on everyone's mind. It wasn't an issue of security between Canada and the United States, but more of a discussion of the security procedures in each country and how they affect the populations in each country and the other country's population.
Nicole Love and Nicole Stivers are students at Minot State University.
It was surprising to us that the most interesting discussion was about environmental issues. The students from Minot and Brandon had very different views regarding the topic, which kept the conversation flowing.
The best part of the conference was the interaction between students and faculty. Students were able to speak freely about topics that they had concerns about, and they heard opinions and experiences from their peers.
The conference was an exciting and wonderful experience for all involved. We were able to speak our minds and listen to other points of view.
Many believe that the most important benefit from this conference was the addition of people to our expanding social networks. This conference showed the need to actively communicate with neighboring countries in a positive and proactive manner. As most of the participants impatiently wait for next year's conference to come around, these two communities continue to anticipate the upcoming problems and how they can be peacefully and agreeably fixed.