New workshop urges students to explore current world politics

Jordan Jacobs

In the age of the “War on Terror,” students have the opportunity to take a workshop to gain more understanding of how the actions of the United States are perceived by the rest of the world.

The geography department is offering the course “Geopolitics and the New World Order,” taught by professor James A. Tyner. The course is intended to improve students’ understanding of the world around them.

Students interested in the workshop, which starts Wednesday, should register soon. Approximately 10 students are registered, and Tyner said the ideal number is anywhere from 10 to 12.

However, no students will be turned away.

“I don’t want to discourage anyone,” Tyner said.

The workshop is designed to have an open-forum atmosphere, with students being responsible for weekly regional reports.

The course is an “opportunity to see geopolitical connections of these events that really have an immediacy on our way of life,” Tyner said.

While Tyner will focus on Southeast Asia, “Students will ID their own country to follow,” Tyner said.

A student in the class, Lt. Col. Steve Oluic, a 22-year Army veteran and graduate student in geography who is studying to teach at West Point, said he thinks this course is a good addition because it “will allow us to examine how we impact other states around the world.”

“The U.S. doesn’t exist in a vacuum,” Oluic said. “Given events in the ‘War on Terror’ and the strengthening of the European Union, there are a lot of events in the world that really require some academic attention.”

One problem, Tyner said, is that Americans everywhere, not only students, have a “tendency to view the war in Iraq as very separate.”

Oluic thinks this class can change that.

“The course can help students better understand U.S. foreign policy,” he said.

While he said he thinks a world regional geography class should be mandatory for all undergraduates, Oluic realizes that this semester’s roster will not be representative of the university’s undergraduate population.

“The class will be skewed — international relations, geography, political science,” Oluic said.

Those students who do register should be ready to work. Tyner plans for the workshop to be “heavily dependent on class participation.”

Contact arts and sciences reporter Jordan Jacobs at [email protected].