Free pizza is a tough act to top, but for UVU’s New York Times Global Review, pizza is just a side dish. Circled up on couches and chairs in a bright room marked with international decor, students, staff and professors join to discuss current events ranging from recent terrorism to the latest technology and more.
UVU’s New York Times Global Review, co-sponsored by The New York Times and UVU’s International Center, meets every Thursday at noon in WB 147.
During each session, participants gather to learn about and discuss current world events. A different professor acts as the discussion leader each week and everyone is welcome to participate, providing a wide variety of insights and views.
The Review typically draws a diverse crowd and has many regulars. Copies of The New York Times are provided and serve as a starting point for discussion, though outside articles are welcomed.
The review was formed a few semesters ago because International Center Director, Dr. Danny Damron, was concerned about students.
He was worried that students only consumed news that confirmed their own views and that too much popular media focused more on attacking people than addressing issues. Later, Damron mentioned that informal polls show many students are not consuming any news at all.
The quote from Gore Vidal on the review’s flyers touches on this same issue:
“Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half.”
Damron’s hope is to raise the caliber of UVU students and help them become better citizens.
“Participating in the review adds richness to the university experience,” Damron said.
Those are not the only reasons Damron gave for the review’s importance. He also said graduates will enter a global environment where the rest of the world matters more than ever, and those who understand it will have the upper hand.
In other words, students with a grasp on international issues will likely be more successful economically.
“They will also be more interesting people,” Damron said.
Further, Damron notes that students will be able to engage with the world and consider new viewpoints instead of feeling “assaulted” by things they do not understand.
In order to help students learn and engage new ideas, the Review is built around discussion. One of Damron’s goals for the discussions is to help students learn to
“I see real value in disagreement, because it helps students weigh new ideas” Damron said.
Two of the Review’s regulars, Steve Crook and John Anderson, both mentioned that one of the things they like best is the difference in perspective the Review gives them. International students and professors often join the group and help broaden the range of outlooks in the discussions.
Anderson said the Review presents a different outlook than students usually get locally.
By Sierra Wilson