DEN's International Student Conference

My Reflections on DEN’s Conference

I recently attended my first annual DEN conference on May 12th. I have been a part of DEN since my first semester this year, so I thought I knew what to expect from the conference and its attendees. However, upon arriving, I quickly realized that the conference was going to be much different than our weekly DEN meetings. The regular attendees were even more passionate and driven about their topics, and the presence of international students from Thailand, Uzbekistan, and Norway added a new perspective and liveliness to the atmosphere.

Although I initially expected a repetitive and slow day after watching the first presentation, I was pleasantly surprised to be given different responsibilities and tasks by both students and Farhang. The unpredictable nature of events with a large number of people, including those online from different countries, meant that I had to be on my toes and help out wherever and whenever I was needed.

Although I did not have my own presentation prepared, I was given the opportunity to chair some of the final presentations of the day. These presentations were focused on ‘Beyond Britain’ and discussed the domestic and foreign policies that have existed in Britain historically, the legacy of the British empire, and the legacy of Thatcher on modern-day British politics. As an international student, these presentations were informative and presented the nuances of British politics clearly and concisely, despite the short length of the presentations. I also chaired a few online meetings earlier in the day, which focused on Peruvian sustainability and development in South America. These presentations shed light on the legal and practical applications of environmental justice and development in countries and the issues that activists may come across when advocating for causes, especially in South America, which the international community may overlook.

Overall, I felt extremely privileged to be a part of this conference during my first year of university and to meet and speak with different people during my time there. Seeing my peers present their topics passionately was inspiring, and I hope to participate in the conference again next year.

Yusuf Gerashi

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