Global Solidarity Network hosts first international teleconference on campus

By Britany Wright
November 29, 2007

submitted photo/jerome zurek

Catholic Relief Service, through its Global Solidarity Network, hosted the first international teleconference Cabrini College has participated in on Thursday, Nov. 8.

College students from around the United States, including Cabrini students, listened to Rick Jones, a representative from CRS on location in his office in El Salvador, and had the opportunity to ask questions about the ongoing debate of migration.

This is an added bonus for the students because they have already been participating on an online debate with each other about the issue.

Members of CRS came to the classes at Cabrini College including representative, Arlene Flaherty.

The nongovernmental organization, CRS, which Flaherty works for, was founded by Catholic bishops in World War II and now exists in 100 countries and has an extensive staff. Its goal is to create solidarity throughout the globe.

Arlene Flaherty said, “We have enough food, oil and other resources to work together individually and communally,” when describing the organization’s goal of solidarity.

The work by people in education, business, the fine arts and philosophers can help others and themselves either directly or indirectly. All of these fields have the potential to be international work.

Flaherty said, “This is not just American charity, this is solidarity.”

The students’ experience of communicating internationally with fellow students at Saint Clara University, Villanova University and Seattle University has led to some heated debates and has shown that college students today are still actively involved in on-going issues.

Flaherty said in regards to the comments made so far by students on the site, “We’re all one. It’s not us or others. We are all one human family.”

Galissa Jones, a freshman early childhood education major, said, “It really doesn’t affect me here, but it’s interesting to hear how it can affect someone else from a different region with their own friends and family.”

The students have been having in-depth discussions about the issue of migration.

Rick Jones, the representative of CRS in El Salvador, said that it’s important for everyone to strive for a win-win situation. He wants to end the racism and stereotyping that is imposed upon the Hispanics who enter America. They should be able to compete on an equal-level for jobs, and not just limited to the blue-collar jobs.

Jones said, “We need to strengthen the democratic process in other countries.” The United States has a huge influence in some countries against the fight against federalism controlling the laws against immigration.

Lauren Gambescia, a junior forensic science major, said, “It all depends on your personal experience with it. That determines how much attention should be paid on it financially. It is an internal problem and it’s only going to bring more.”

Jones described the best way to correct the problem of immigration as getting involved by writing to congress, joining with CRS to spread the word about the issue.

If the problem needs to be fixed, citizens have to work together in order to get congress to work on the Immigration Rights Laws.

According to Jones, the problem of immigration will not be solved for another 15-20 years even if the laws are reformed. “This is important that everyone tackles issues in on-going ways by trying to stay informed.”

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Britany Wright

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