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The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

Kozmetsky Center returns with conversation over International Conflict

Emilio Casanova / Hilltop Views
St. Edward’s associate professor of finance Sung Suh (right) during the Q&A.

The Kozmetsky Center hosted their first event of the semester last Tuesday about “Conflicts and Controversies in the Asian Pacific,” aiming to help students explore the current political climate of the Asian Pacific from experts and professors. 

The purpose of the Kozmetsky Center is to tie students to civic engagement and promote democracy. The center proposes different kinds of events that focus on local, statewide or global politics. 

“It shouldn’t be intimidating to anyone, that’s the whole point of this,” David Thomason, the new director of the Kozmetsky Center, said. “I think whatever your major, everyone is interested in the future of what the world is going to look like. So why not have the tools to be a good citizen or world-citizen, and make a difference: whatever it is, everybody is affected by democracy.” 

St. Edward’s associate professor of finance Sung Suh was the guest speaker for the event. Suh decided to talk about these kinds of international conflicts because he wants to help students gain awareness on the current challenges and matters encountered by world powers, which notably includes China. 

“The problem is that when our students simply listen to the radio or watch the news daily, they can easily be fooled by the political propaganda,” Suh said. “So, I really like to get our students to understand the issues.”

In his presentation, Suh particularly emphasized the importance of having background knowledge to understand current issues. According to Suh, when it comes to economic and financial perspectives, society tends to judge something by believing if it is “good” or “bad” rather than evaluating the mechanisms behind it. 

“There’s no good or bad,” Suh said. “In our world economy, there are two leading parties, as you know, the United States and China — and China can easily be recognized as the enemy. The truth is that we are actually collaborating with each other, to increase the welfare of our world citizens.” 

Suh explained how the world is economically and strategically dominated by U.S. dollars and how China is a rising power which has the potential to challenge American currency’s trade value for yuan. He also addressed the trade deficit due to the difference of the dollar’s value depending on each country. 

Suh explains the international trade system to help students understand the current issues faced by powerful countries.

“So, we must understand how these two parties play their own role,” Suh said. “In that way, we will not simply blame the other party, and based on our understanding, we can improve our future collaboration.” 

Suh ended his presentation with the statement “Would it be successful? I don’t know” before opening the floor to a Q&A.  

The Kozmetsky Center is getting more active on social media thanks to two interns on the team. According to Thomason, it is a good way for the center to outreach and to promote civics and engagement.  

“Those events are for students,” Thomason said. “Get pizza, listen and think about policy and democracy.” 

Their next event will be “2024 Election: What’s at Stake?” on Feb. 22 from 11a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Munday Library, North Reading Room. To learn more about the Kozmetsky Center, follow their instagram, @behindthekoz, or contact them at [email protected]

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About the Contributor
Gabrielle Caumon
Gabrielle Caumon, Staff Writer
Gabrielle Caumon is a junior from Paris, France, who is pursuing a major in the BFA Acting program and a minor in Journalism. This is her second semester writing for Hilltop Views and her first as a Staff Writer. She loves writing for the Life & Arts section, and is excited to branch out and try out other genres.

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