By Sofie H. Thomassen
Some students at McDaniel College Budapest presented the idea of a student-led event – an idea they have entitled 2019 International Relations and Social Media Conference (IRSM2019), on Wednesday, March 7. In front of Dean Frenyó, Professor Adamson, Professor Schimert, and Professor Hoffman, the eight students – Kiev Martinez, Katica Hier, Lidia Klingenberg, Sarah Diefallah, Sarah Boudiaf, Bridget Daley, Tomer Mashiah and Chahinez Haddad – pitched an idea that would increase the school’s presence, form connections, and create opportunities for students.
The 2019 International Relations and Social Media Conference, will first and foremost function as a platform for undergraduate students of the social sciences – but, suggestions to include graduate students are being taken into consideration. During the days of the conference, the students will have the opportunity to have open discussions with other students of similar academic interests and present their theories and studies. The students behind the idea also emphasized that this will not only benefit the students, but also the school. The city of Budapest is a metropolis and launching this conference will direct eyes towards the many possibilities you can and will gain as being a student in this city.
It is pictured that the IRSM conference will take place over a four-day period in Spring 2019, and the days will include a key note speaker and other student, guest and faculty speakers – aiming for a 70:30 Student to Faculty Ratio. Presentations, table discussion events, private networking events, and an international career fair will also be included, before the whole conference comes to an end with an awards banquet.
IRSM 2019 includes two component projects: The McDaniel College Europe International Art Show and The McDaniel Social Sciences Institute. The Art Show will be created by the art students at McDaniel College and exhibited throughout the city, with donated artwork to be auctioned – already, Stefan Bleekrode, an artist friend of one of the students, said he will donate a piece worth €35,000. These donations are thought to benefit both the art show and the conference.
The Social Science Institute, will function as the main research and presentation arm of the IRSM conference, and is to be led by the political science department, with input from the communication faculty. A main goal for these two projects is to develop internship and job opportunities for the entire student body – something that can be done through working with companies, start-ups, and NGOs.
To fund the IRSM conference, the students suggest corporate sponsorship and private donations – to date, €1,500 has been committed by Suite Hostel, Weber Cooling and Hunter Roberts, and €500 from private donations. The idea is that the art show and auction will contribute to the funding of the conference, with public and private McDaniel student body events also expected to be part of the fundraising scheme.
Up to date, alternatives within catering and venues have been looked at and prices have been discussed. Gellert Meeting Hall has been positive to the prospect of hosting parts of the conference, but Dean Frenyò expressed, after the pitch, that the Assembly Hall at McDaniel College would be a perfect alternative to this – as at the same time costs would decline, the school and it opportunities would also be conveyed to the people attending.
Budgeting, hotel and hostel organization, volunteer services, and advertising is still in the works, and in the following weeks from now a new meeting will be held to elaborate and discuss more. This is without doubt a great idea which will benefit both the school, the faculty and most importantly, the students!