• Global Engagement Hall

Southwestern is based off of three pillars of thought: Think, Create, Connect. The Global Engagement Hall is a living learning community striving to embody all three to the fullest potential.

The Global Engagement Hall, or as students refer to it “The GEH,” is a community of sophomores, soon to be open to all upper-classmen, that helps students get the most out of their Southwestern experience. The GEH facilitates a space to talk about issues that affect SU and Georgetown alike, and students participate in local service projects. Topics can stretch anywhere from environmental sustainability to border studies, but all have a profound effect on surrounding areas.

These social justice topics are chosen each month by a group of three to four students who all live in the GEH and work together throughout the month to design events and volunteer. They also host a dinner-conversation for the whole GEH group, inviting staff and faculty who are particularly insightful about that specific topic.

My group, comprised of myself, Amiel Padayhag, Molly McConnell and Emma Meyers, was the October group. We chose the topic of “Progress.” During our month, we hosted a volunteer opportunity in the community garden, a screening of specific episodes of the show “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” and, like every group, hosted and facilitated the end-of-the-month dinner. It was a great opportunity to become closer to this group of students, talk about important issues, and start to feel like part of a unique community.

“I think the GEH is first and foremost a space where we can meet new people” my roommate and group-mate Amiel said. “Just meeting these people with different backgrounds who I would have never talked to outside of classroom settings is really interesting.” She also talked about really enjoying the dinner. “I love being able to sit down with GEH people and talk about issues that are really pressing. Its talking not only with peers but also professors in this facilitated setting that still allows for direct engagement with the social issue.”

As you can see, the GEH is a unique and wonderful opportunity. My favorite aspect of the GEH is that it is such a dynamic group of people who care about their impact in the community just as much as you do. I think opening it up for all upperclassmen for years to come will only expand this knowledge, creating an even greater impact.

What you learn is the Global Engagement Hall truly impacts how you think. It opens you up to topics that you might not otherwise consider. It creates a group of people who care. It is a remarkable opportunity to grow and learn. It is a community of people to count on, and a unique, Southwestern-specific experience.

For more information on the Global Engagement Hall or more Civic Engagement opportunities, email Nikki Welch at welchn@southwestern.edu or go to the Southwestern University Office of Community-Engaged Learning website here.

Written by: Ellie Crowley ’20