The Stand Up Take Action project is a global campaign for the elimination of poverty through standing up, to appeal to world policymakers in the hopes of achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a United Nations Development Program. Locally, two American Studies Program (ASP) students at Tokyo International University of America put together a workshop to learn about the MDGs. The workshop took place Tuesday, October 15, in the Hatfield Library and Jackson Plaza on the Willamette campus.
American Studies Program (ASP) students from Tokyo International University started their involvement with this program three years ago at TIU in the Global Studies Program (GSP). That program focuses on a variety of topics associate with world-wide problems, conflicts, and issues. They went to Mongolia where they studied environmental education, peace education, and foreign language education for sustainable development in Mongolia. Also Stand Up Take Action was held at TIU on October 17.
Tatsuya Hirano, ASP06, is currently living in Serbia and working for the University of Belgrade and studying Serbian. Tatsuya works with Professor Ljiljana Markovic who is the vice-dean of the Philology Department. Tatsuya is making letters and various documents for Professor Markovic to send to the Japanese Embassy in Serbia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan, and universities in Japan. They also made a Kanji textbook in Serbian, which is the first time in history that has been done. Currently in Serbia, if people want to study Japanese, they would first have to study high-level English because all the descriptions were in English. Now, it will be easier for the Serbian people who want to study Japanese.
When asked about his time in the American Studies Program (ASP) at Willamette University, Tatsuya replied, "I spent great time at Willamette University/TIUA in the ASP Program. I tried to speak English with Americans as much as I could. They were really great communicative people."
The NSOCO Program (New Student Orientation to Community Outreach) is a great way to learn how to make connections. This program provides students with the opportunity to engage in direct service in the Salem community and Willamette Valley, explore various social justice issues, and meet other new students with similar interests. A typical day of NSOCO consists of improving the environment, feeding hungry families and reaching out to youth in need. Students participate in a unique tour of Willamette, get to know Salem better, and share evening social time with the other students in the Jump Start program. Participants build community with each other and the Salem area while living out Willamette University's motto, "Not unto ourselves alone are we born."
This past August, three ASP students participated in the NSOCO program at Willamette University. They have shared their reflections about their experiences below. Click on their names to read about their experiences.