Chapter Spotlight: University of Nevada-Reno
Hamza Haider, Campus Fellow for the West Coast Region, interviewed Katie Worrall, UNA-University of Nevada Reno chapter president.
Q) UNA-UNR is a new campus chapter, having been established this Summer. What motivated you and your fellow leaders to establish a chapter on the UNR Campus?
A) We decided to start the United Nations Association Chapter on our campus after attending the UNA Leadership Summit in Washington, DC this last June. We were the first people on our campus to start a Model United Nations club, and after hearing about the United Nations Association at a MUN conference we attended in San Francisco, we decided to start a chapter in our state. We later learned at the Leadership Summit that there was not one UNA chapter in the state of Nevada, which motivated us even more in order to have more representation from our state in the association.
Q) What events have you held since you were established?
A) On International Day of Peace, our club leaders tabled outside of our university student union, and asked people to write a nice message on a paper dove. We also handed out the paper doves to random students walking by to spread more peaceful messages that are needed in the world. On UN Day, we tabled in our library and handed out the promotional items the national chapter sent to us. We had a lot of people interested, and we were able to inform more students about the work the United Nations is doing.
Q) What events do you plan on holding this year?
A) For Human Rights Day, we will be holding a large scale event in our university’s theater and inviting local community leaders and professors to speak about the role of the United Nations in supporting our local efforts for ensuring human rights for all. We have representatives from Planned Parenthood, ACTIONN (a local chapter dedicated to fixing the housing), and the Northern Nevada International Center. We are giving out a raffle prize, and giving everyone free pupusas. It’s going to be a really fun event, and we are excited to put it on.
Q) What makes UNA-UNR unique?
A) I think what makes us so unique is the fact that not only are we the only UNA chapter in Nevada, we are chapter of young students that started it. A lot of the time you hear politicians and popular people in the media talking about the apathy amongst people on political issues, but we are actually quite organized and motivated to make change at a local, state, and global level.
Q) How can UNA-UNR make an impact, being the only campus chapter in the state of Nevada?
A) Being the only campus chapter in Nevada, we feel compelled to lead the way for other communities in our state to take action within the United Nations Association as well. We also have this unique opportunity to spread awareness about the United Nations to people who may not know too much about it based on the lack of presence of the UNA in our state. Our main goal for this year will be to set a foundation for future leaders of our chapter, and to try to educate and inform more people about the UN’s ideals and mission. We want people to feel they can be a part of the narrative to see massive global change by eradicating poverty, reversing climate change, and standing up for human rights.