Dr. Bill Hunter, director of the Office of Fellowship Advising and UN Programs, speaks at a trivia night hosted by Lehigh's Global Citizenship Program on Friday, February 15th, 2019 at Hawk's Nest. The trivia night featured questions about the International Labor Organization and Global Citizenship Program and offered free food and prizes. (Maddie Sheifer/B&W Staff)

Global Citizenship program highlights International Labour Organization partnership


On Feb. 15, the Global Citizenship program hosted a trivia night event in Lamberton Hall, centered around the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) recent partnership with Lehigh University.

The trivia night was part of a series of events hosted by the Global Citizenship program, which serve as a prelude to the Equitable and Sustainable Future of Work Conference that will be held on April 11.

The conference is a byproduct of the university and the ILO’s partnership in honor of the ILO’s 100th anniversary.

Bill Hunter, director of Fellowship Advising and UN Programs at Lehigh, is involved with Lehigh’s partnership with the United Nations. Through that work, there has been some connection between Lehigh and the ILO.

“I try and seek partners out who we can develop very interesting collaborations with throughout the years,” Hunter said.

Hunter describes the partnership as a “chasing the sun type of series,” in which the ILO sought partnerships with institutions of higher education on each continent.

“We were delighted when they chose Lehigh University as the North American destination for the ILO 100th anniversary,” Hunter said.

The conference has been made possible by the Martindale Program — a College of Business and Economics program that focuses on global entrepreneurship — the UN Partnership and the ILO itself.

However, prior to the actual conference, the Global Citizenship program has been creating their own series of events for students to become more aware of what the ILO is and the impact it has.

“The ILO itself has a direct impact on our students and its future,” Hunter said.

He said the ILO is responsible for regulating elements of fair and equal work globally, such as minimum wages and decent work hours, which some students may not be aware of.

Nearly 50 students attended the trivia night program, all in attendance to learn more about the Global Citizenship program and the ILO partnership.

Kayla McMillan, ’22, a member of the Global Citizenship program, said the event served as an opportunity for students to learn more about all the opportunities the Global Citizenship can provide.

Specifically, the trivia night programming involved simulations to get people involved and understand what the workforce looks like internationally.

McMillan has been part of the program from the beginning of her time at Lehigh. Being part of the Global PreLUsion program, McMillan became interested in other global-related opportunities around Lehigh’s campus. 

For her work-study, McMillan does community outreach for Global Citizenship.

“We can impact others even if we’re not necessarily trying to,” McMillan said.

Maximillian Machado, ’22, was encouraged by his friends to attend trivia night. Being from Miami, Machado grew up in a diverse area and wanted to go and “see what (he) can pick up and learn.”

The event began with an overview of the partnerships Lehigh has with the ILO and UN and an explanation of what it means to be a global citizen. He highlighted the possibilities Lehigh students have through such programming, such as meeting with policy makers and global politicians.

Machado said he learned the most from the formative talks about different issues various countries are facing around the world.

“I benefited from when the programming opened up to let us walk around and speak,” Machado said. “I was able to get some of my questions out there and be able to flesh them out.”

In regards to the trivia questions, he said he believes that they shed light onto some alarming statistics and aspects that drive a need for change. 

Machado said the questions brought a lot of atrocities to life, which is something worth looking into.

The purpose of these programs is to shed light on how global citizenship impacts all areas of study, even if there’s not a specific global focus.

“It’s about understanding where that can go for you, with jobs, across majors, and how it can be pursued in different countries,” McMillan said. “We want to show students why it’s important to fight for things that you’re passionate about and getting to know early on so you can work towards changing something.”

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