This Thursday, March 31st, I, Catherine Van Amburgh, will be leaving Unity, Maine and heading down to Portland, Maine, where I will board a plane that will take me to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, board another plane, and eventually I’m going to end up in sunny and warm San Diego, California.
You might be curious as to why I’ll be reluctantly leaving dear Unity, ME for San Diego (The average temperature in SD for April is around 70 degrees F, if you were curious), there happens to be a small little meeting of around 1,200 students from around the globe called The Clinton Global Initiative University that I will be attending. The CGIU is modeled after the original Clinton Global Initiative, created by former president of the United States Bill Clinton, which brought together world leaders to work on pressing global issues. CGI University is meant to do the same by bringing together, encouraging, and mobilizing students from all over the globe. Part of registering for CGIU is making a ‘commitment’; the commitment you make is one issue you plan on devoting time, energy and resources to solving. The short version of my commitment is working with Unity College Dining Services and Sustainability Office to move our food purchasing choices in a more sustainable direction, taking advantage of the great local foods network that exists here in Maine, and boosting the local economy while we’re at it.
The commitments focus on five main areas, Education, Environment & Climate Change, Peace & Human Rights, Poverty Alleviation, and Public Health. The meeting brings together students working towards similar goals, with the same values, encourages networking, and offers services and counselors to help achieving goals set down by your commitment.