By Alexandra White, Mass Communication Graduate Student
The following article is one of three posts written for Dr. Rao’s International Communication class during the students’ study abroad trip to Europe:
The most interesting experiences I had on this study abroad trip to London and Geneva was when we when to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. It has always been a dream of mine to go to the United Nations and this was the perfect way to achieve that dream. Between my long-time interest in politics and study of mass communication at Texas State University, the United Nations to me was the best of the trip’s visits. I was so excited to go to the United Nations, I just had to wear my cute navy suit and best shoes.
During the tour of the United Nations, we were able to sit in on one of the “public” meetings. “Public” meetings are often aired online and can be viewed by the public whenever it’s in session. However, “Private” meetings are exactly that, closed to the public. According to our guide, most private meetings are on sensitive topics such as country weaponization. Inside the public viewing room were these little speakers attached to chairs, so you could hear when someone would get up to the podium and discuss. While listening to the speakers we heard Canada discussing something about human rights. Later we found out that this meeting was actually the UN Human Rights Council meeting, and that the United States was in the process of declaring its exit from the council.
Inside the other UN buildings is donated art and gifts from some of the member countries, such as a replica of the Hammurabi Code. We were also able to walk through the original chambers of the League of Nations which has been renovated since the disband after World War II. Although I did not count, the number of seats in the room seemed endless. Our tour guide also told us that it was one of the best rooms for acoustics. As you can see in the picture, each seat in the chamber has a microphone and translation ear plug so members of any country or territory can understand and contribute to the discussions. Of course, I hit up the gift shop at the end of the tour and found myself a bright blue UN coffee mug for my apartment desk as a token of this amazing visit.