Students miss message after 2-day peace forum
As Dave Matthews’ lyrics seemed to garner more attention than the Dalai Lama’s words, the overarching message of the two-day “Common Ground for Peace” forum did not appear to reach the student body.
The highlight of the “landmark” event at Syracuse University was a festival-style concert with a talk by the Dalai Lama followed by performances from more than 20 artists. The talk surrounding the event included complaints about the length of the Dalai Lama’s portion of the show, the songs the artists performed and the absence of alcohol sales at the Carrier Dome.
The Dalai Lama speaking at an American university about achieving peace does not just casually take place. This was the second time the Dalai Lama has ever been to SU, the first in more than three decades. He likely will not return to campus while any current students are still here.
The panels and the Dalai Lama’s speech before the concert should resonate with students. They should provoke a larger discussion on campus about world issues. But the effect is already waning days after the event.
The panels, which were not heavily attended by students, centered on how peace won’t happen through talk — it will only happen through action. The student body and the surrounding community need to take these words and turn them into action.
For students, this should be a chance to really think about what was discussed during the past week on campus and make real change happen. These opportunities don’t come around often. While students did not appear to devote the most attention to the Dalai Lama in the last two days, they can still take what they learned and make a difference.
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