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Kennedy Center plans student essay contest

The David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies at Brigham Young University is sponsoring a student essay contest in conjunction with International Education Week Nov. 17-21. The competition is designed to promote BYU students' understanding of and appreciation for current global issues.

"The university is known for its student body who have had international experience, and we have a core of students whose academic discipline is shaped by that experience," said Jeff Ringer, Kennedy Center director. "The essay contest will offer those students a visible way to express and receive recognition for their international involvement."

The competition is open to all full-time BYU students, and the deadline for entries is Friday, Oct. 17 at noon. Students may access contest rules and an entry form online at or from Kennedy Center Publications, 210 HRCB.

The top three essays will receive cash awards in the amount of $500 for first place and $250 each for second and third place. Winners will also have an opportunity to present their essays in a public forum at the Kennedy Center during International Education Week.

Students must respond to one of three issues, outlined as follows:

1. "There are potentially another 10 Afghanistans in Africa, and it is cheaper by a factor of 100 to prevent the fires from happening than to put them out," according to U2's Bono ("Debt crusader Bono named greatest European hero," Irish Examiner, 21 April 2003). Developing countries need capital to build infrastructure, and many countries have established debt they cannot repay. Address the responsibility of developed countries toward undeveloped countries.

2. "The major difference between the United States and other wealthy democratic nations is that it is an interventionist superpower," claims Ivan Eland, director of defense policy studies, Cato Institute ("Does U.S. Intervention Overseas Breed Terrorism? The Historical Record," Cato Institute Foreign Policy Briefing, No. 50, 17 December 1998). On one side, people of other countries want the U.S. to do more to intervene and right the wrongs of the world, while at the same time, others say that the U.S. interferes too much. Address the paradox of state sovereignty in a system of increasing global interdependence and vulnerability.

3. "Over the past few years, the United States has been the engine, and the world has grown accustomed to that," reasoned Ian Kinniburgh, UN director of the Development Policy Analysis Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs ("How much longer can the USA propel the global economy?" USA Today, [see World Economic and Social Survey 2003, 25 June 2003]). Consumer demand is depressed and deflation of the dollar appears to be a danger. Address the connection between global trade relations and the global economy.

Essays should be double spaced with a one-inch margin, 8–10 pages in length, and documented with end notes. Submissions must be delivered to Kennedy Center Publications, 210 HRCB.

For more information, see the web page at, or contact Lee Simons, (801) 422-2652, or

Writer: Lee Simons, (801) 422-2652

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