To be able to visit the UN was a great experience. My first thoughts were how beautiful the building itself was. Located in the heart of Manhattan between skyscrapers, the UN utilizes a more open design and can boast a great view of the river and skyline. I appreciate that they had open lawns and entrances instead of going with the classic high rise building because it is such a big plot of land that does not match the monotony of the rest of the city. Even the inside, although not as large as a skyscraper, had high ceilings and unique architecture.
During the conference I got a feeling of grandeur. The hall where we were seated was large and almost cinematic. I felt as if I had seen the hall, or something similar, in many movies in which world affairs are concerned. It was humbling being somewhere that so many countries come together to make decisions that effect not only one nation, but an entire country. Hearing people talk about issues they truly cared about was inspiring; however, not necessarily due to any particular issue, but instead the fact that these people were so passionate about a topic that they had dedicated their lives to that. I hope to find something that can inspire me in the same way. Moreover, social justice was particularly interesting to me because of the way the speakers talked about it. To them, social justice did not just mean equality in the sense that everyone should be treated fairly. Instead, from what I gathered, they focused on many design elements regarding social justice. For example, a ladder on the side of fences so that those who could not afford to buy tickets to the game could still see. Little design points that can only be imagined and created from deliberate thought. When designing, especially things the public will use, the speakers encouraged thinking of social justice and how to create a more balanced equilibrium through design. Design and social justice working together was a new idea to me as obvious as it now sounds.
One thing that I found peculiar about the UN is the level of security. I understand that many world leaders gather there, and a lot of important world information is stored within the halls. However, the United Nations is supposed to represent the world and, in part, the future. If that is true why does it seems so covered in secrecy. I was not even allowed to use the bathroom downstairs. Im confused as to what is so important that a student would not be able to use the bathroom one the way out of the building. Additionally, if any organization is representing world issues I feel their should be no secrecy. Such important issues should not be left to an ambassador or delegated official we did not even vote for. At the least, their should be complete, open dialogue with the public. Why were we not allowed to record? How does that effect security? If they cannot be open to the public about the things students are seeing, something is very wrong. It should not be such a hard thing to do for a group of students to visit the UN. In fact, every student should be able to experience what we did. I understand security measures for when certain people are in the building, but the entire time I was there I could not stop shaking the feeling of unopeness the UN gives off and I think that is both suspicious and not the way they should represent themselves.