Over the summer in 2016, sophomore journalism major Ayah Alkhars decided to implement a new association for Temple students to participate in. She recently founded the Temple University Chapter of Generation United Nations to help place the future of the world in the hands of students. Also known as GenUN, the organization is an action-oriented, national initiative which focuses on global issues such as climate change, peace & security, women’s rights, and more.
Executive Director of the Greater Philadelphia chapter of United Nations Association Christiaan Morrsink inspired Alkhars to create her own division at Temple University. “He asked me, ‘Why not just create your own chapter?’ and so, I did,” says Alkhars.
To her, it’s necessary for college campuses to discuss issues that affect our society, whether those issues are being covered by mass media or not. Hailing from Kuwait, she emphasizes why incorporating GenUN onto Temple’s campus is important. “Not knowing anything is a bad thing, explains Alkhars. “I’ve risked getting arrested many times, but it was worth it.”
Ultimately, GenUN strives to engage and energize young supporters to be informed and use their voices to discuss matters that globally connect groups of people, and nations as a whole.
The most important issue that Alkhars would like GenUN to focus on is the recognition of human life. “We can’t ignore that people need a place to live peacefully who can’t have that,” she states.
Participants of GenUN tackle a variety of world issues and have the opportunity to become global leaders of the Greater Philadelphia Area. They are also taught how to contribute to their community and how to reach local, national, and international groups to seek change.