ALANA Alert – UN Day

Michael Walden

The UN was the focus of the day on Friday, October 24. And for about 100 high school students from Hamilton, Waterville, Whitesboro, Utica and New Hartford who spent their time moving between the ALANA Cultural Center, the COOP, Women’s Studies and Olin Hall, the UN could be found in Hamilton, New York. Professors from both Colgate University and Utica College presented on topics ranging from economic development in Africa to the political status of Palestine and Israel.

A number of student volunteers from Colgate and Utica helped out as well, facilitating discussions and serving on panels. John Slater and Sherry Wright of the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees worked with Makiko Filler, Shevorne Martin and Thomas Cruz-Soto of ALANA to set up the sessions for the event. Theodore Orlin, a professor at Utica College and founder of its Human Rights Advocacy Program, discussed the importance of the future of the UN in his opening speech.

At the close of the final sessions, all participants reconvened at Love Auditorium in Olin Hall to listen to Executive Director of the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees Peter Vogelaar, make his closing remarks.

Saturday afternoon held a much different vibe for ALANA. From 2 to 4 p.m., The Games Afoot hosted a Nerf Gun Battle complete with barricades and highly developed military intelligence. Participants included Colgate students and some guests from Camp Fiver. The day began with a classic game of capture-the-flag.

Two teams of approximately ten students defended opposite ends of the multipurpose room as it was littered with chairs, tables and other blockades. The event continued with different battle variations and strategies.

After 4 p.m., the Center calmed down for the weekend, and staff members prepared for the busy week ahead, which included exciting lectures, fashion shows and Halloween celebrations.