Caldwell, N.J., Nov. 22, 2016 – Caldwell University sophomore Bilan Biju was selected to attend the prestigious Student Conference on U.S. Affairs under the theme of “Democracy & Democratization: Challenges & Opportunities” at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York from Nov. 9 to 12.
The aim of the annual conference is to foster interaction and discussion between civilian student delegates and cadets for a better understanding of the challenges the United States faces.
Students shared their views on world affairs and heard from foreign affairs professionals and international delegates. Topics included: Economic Development, Technology, Security, Political Radicalism, Ethno-Religious Conflict, Democracy Promotion and Democracy: Not the Only Game in Town.
Biju sat at the table that focused on technology and its role in democracy and democratization. Her table consisted of eleven delegates including U.S. students, international students, cadets and the two co-chairs, who are university professors. They worked on a policy paper and presented it as a skit.
Biju, who was born in India and raised in Qatar, said the conference was a “lifetime experience” and that she “enjoyed every single aspect” of it. A highlight was hearing the keynote speaker Dr. Richard N. Hass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations. She said she appreciated how he encouraged her generation of students to work with others for peace.
The students toured the U.S. Military Academy and met some cadets. “It was nice to hear from the cadets about what they need to go through to graduate,” said Biju.
Biju has a double major of communications and media studies and business administration with a concentration in global business. She is interested in exploring work in media relations or public relations for a national agency. “I think my motto is ‘try to learn something new every day.’”