The United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA) awarded Seton Hall’s campus chapter, UNA-SHU, the 2016 Campus Chapter Excellence Award. The award was presented to a campus chapter of UNA-USA that had demonstrated a commitment to service, education, and leadership, and a desire to actively participate in chapter projects and initiatives identified with the goals of UNA-USA.
According to Monika Johnson, a manager at UNA-USA’s GenUN program , UNA-SHU stood out for its commitment to organizing events and spreading knowledge of the work of the United Nations.
Of UNA-SHU’s many projects, several caught the eye of the judges. The campus chapter held events for International Day of Peace, UN Day, A Day in the Life of a Girl, as well as a COP 21 conference, a Holocaust remembrance event, and a cohosted United in Faith event which raised money for Syrian refugees. UNA-USA was particularly impressed by the chapter’s help in orchestrating the School of Diplomacy’s Sustainable Development Goals Teach-In event which sought to raise awareness of the 2030 Development Agenda. The chapter has also participated in community service projects such as a Trick or Treat for UNICEF and provided support for Seton Hall Model UN.
Gabriela Taveras, President and founding member of
UNA-SHU, said she was “completely shocked and deeply humbled” by being
chosen for the award.
Taveras agrees that the SDG Teach-In was a highlight in the life of
the chapter. She is also particularly proud of the chapter’s
representation at UNA-USA Members’ Day panel. The chapter hosted the
former U.S. Youth Observer to the U.N., and also canvassed Seton Hall
students to complete the “MYWorld” survey, which was used in the
development of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Though the application process was daunting, Taveras is proud that the work of the chapter is earning recognition from an organization they admire.
“I remember running over to my mother, jumping out of joy, as I realized that two years of hard work were bearing fruit outside of campus,” said Taveras. “We were being recognized on a national level, and UNA-USA is using us as an example of what other Campus Chapters, and even State Chapters, should emulate.”
Daniela Uribe, who collected the award on behalf of
UNA-SHU at the UNA-USA 2016 Leadership Summit, also expressed both shock
and gratitude at receiving the honor.
“UNA-SHU was competing with prestigious chapters and being recognized during the UNA-USA Leadership Summit 2016 gave us the chance to represent Seton Hall University and also the incredible energy invested by our professors and staff from the School of Diplomacy and International Relations,” said Uribe. “It was an unforgettable experience that makes me feel proud of being a pirate!”
UNA-SHU hopes to build upon its present achievements by
expanding its initiatives beyond Seton Hall University to engage the
Village of South Orange, its governing body and the town of Maplewood,
and possibly neighboring towns in the future.
“We want everyone to know that the United Nations is an organization that truly works for and with the people, and that it is possible to bring about local change if you know what tools are at your disposal,” said Taveras.
Categories: Nation and World