For my international organization this semester, I decided to try something different. I went online. With an infuriatingly busy semester ahead of me, I knew that to be able to be involved, I'd have to be clever.
The choice of platform was obvious: everyone's on Facebook, right? I had heard of the Informed Citizens Discussion Groups and had friends who'd enjoyed the club, so that was where I decided to get involved. What followed was a semester of very interesting social media engagement.
The Informed Citizens Discussion Groups page is an... interesting place. Full of students with opinions all across the spectrum, it held a deep intrigue for me. Here was a way to become politically and internationally involved like never before - reading news articles regularly and interacting with people to trade thoughts about current events. The obvious focus of the semester was the US election, but there were articles posted about international events as well.
Each time someone made a post referencing some recent event, a multitude of people would stream to the comments section and offer their piece. Opinions were shouted (as much as that can be done on the Internet). Arguments broke out. Petty comments abounded. Sarcastic comics were even drawn and shared. I laughed, I frowned, I learned. Consuming this media along with my morning browse of various social networks forced me to be informed about my own world.
I would argue this Internet-based involvement is somehow an even deeper connection than would be being involved in some university clubs. Many meet rarely or gradually shut out newcomers to be a sort of elite crew. Informed Citizens Discussion Groups does the opposite - come one, come all, and contribute any opinion you dare - as long as you can handle the response.