BYU students will engage in a two-day conference beginning this Thursday where they will learn about the crisis in Europe and how it affects their future.
The conference, “Europe in a Nutshell: Will it Crack?,” is the kick-off event for the BYU Center for the Study of Europe’s 10-year anniversary celebration. The conference is designed to help BYU students learn about current European issues through watching expert and student debate panels. The conference sessions are open to all students and will be held on Thursday and Friday, Sept. 27-28 in the Hinckley Center and in the J. Reuben Clark Law Building. Experts and other students will debate current European issues such as the economy, immigration, security and energy.
Wade Jacoby, founding director of the Center for the Study of Europe, said this conference is a unique opportunity that will allow students to learn about Europe regardless of their major.
Students who attend the conference and the other commemorative activities can enter a drawing to win $50 visa gift cards, a $500 study abroad scholarship and one free airfare to Europe. The visa gift cards and $500 scholarship will be given out at the conference, and the free Europe airfare will be given out in April at the last celebratory event.
The conference will have a keynote speaker and the panel sessions will be moderated debates. Jacoby said this format will provide students the opportunity to see civilized debates between highly educated individuals.
“I’m looking forward to having BYU students recognize that smart people can disagree about Europe and do so in a way that is fun, engaging and educational,” Jacoby said. “These folks will not only be civil as they bring their different perspectives to bear, they will be enthusiastic. It’s a lot of fun to have a good conversation with someone who sees the world a bit differently than you do.”
Aaron Haines, a senior studying Art History, is one of the student panelists at the conference. He said this event is a wonderful opportunity for any student to gain a better perspective and understanding of the European situation.
“You hear about all of this crazy stuff in the news and you never know what to believe,” Haines said. “From my perspective, I feel like everyone has different agendas. It looks like this will be a great opportunity to get some scholarly, well-researched information about our world.”
Lora Cook, the administrative cirector for the center, said the conference is opened to and designed for students of all majors.
“We feel like the content of the conference will be interesting to anyone if they just give it a chance,” Cook said. “It’s not going to be a lecture. There will be very interactive panels debating contemporary issues.”
Haines encouraged his fellow Cougars to come to the event to learn how the European situation affects them.
“It is important to attend this event because they’ll be talking about issues that influence us right now, and they’re really going to influence our future as well,” Hanies said. “It’s really important to keep aware of what’s going on in the world, and Europe is an amazing place.”
A full schedule of the conference is available at europe.byu.edu.