Tuesday, January 25, 2022

ASMSU makes World Bank trek

November 15, 2000

Seven ASMSU representatives and a student activist will be traveling to Washington, D.C., today for a summit at the World Bank.

The summit is a follow-up to student protests that arose when James Wolfensohn, president of the World Bank, gave the keynote speech at MSU for the university’s spring commencement.

As a result of the uprising, Wolfensohn extended a personal invitation to MSU student delegates to visit the World Bank facilities at the nation’s capital to discuss the matter.

“Many people believe that James and his organization are very carelessly distributing their money and recklessly adjusting economies,” said political science and pre-law junior Andrew Banyai, the activist accompanying the members of the university’s undergraduate student government to Washington.

But the students will not have the opportunity to meet with Wolfensohn because he won’t be in Washington, D.C., during their visit. The trek is also an effort by ASMSU to become more knowledgeable on the issues that spark student uncertainty.

“We really want to become more informed on those issues that students obviously are concerned about,” said Charles McHugh, ASMSU Academic Assembly chairperson.

Subjects to be addressed by student government representatives and activists include World Bank involvement in educational policies, social and health services and environment projects. The bank offers funding to developing countries.

“A major question we need to ask is, ‘How does the bank assess the impact of its projects?’” McHugh said.

The MSU group will depart by car today and arrive in Washington, D.C., early Thursday, several hours before its appointment at the World Bank.

Once it arrives at the bank, the group will have a full itinerary ahead of it.

Scheduled activities include a session with the board of directors to perform a mock process of how a client country applies for financial support from the World Bank.

When it returns from the summit, ASMSU is planning to organize discussion forums to acquaint students with its experiences.

“We are going to use this as an opportunity to share dialogue with students,” said Jeff Ziarko, ASMSU director of university, governmental and budgetary affairs.

“We are going to do everything possible to share the information gained from the summit.”


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