Utah student coalition advocates for mountains in 2022, plans for 2023


Since 2011, the Utah International Mountain Forum (UIMF) – a coalition of student clubs at Utah Valley University (UVU), a member of the Mountain Partnership – has used the student-engaged learning (SEL) method to advocate for the sustainable development of mountain communities and for mountain families, women, and girls in the State of Utah (United States of America), the Kyrgyz Republic, and at the United Nations. The SEL model encourages students to work inclusively as a group to solve real-world issues, with a faculty member supporting them as a mentor.

This year's contributions were dedicated to celebrating the International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development. A highlight of the year was the UIMF's thirteenth celebration of International Mountain Day, held at UVU on 6 December 2022. The UIMF and Osh Technological University in Osh, Kyrgyz Republic, partnered to jointly host a parallel event during the sixty-sixth session of the Commission on the Status of Women in March 2022 through SEL.

On 19–20 December 2022, Rusty Butler, a UIMF mentor, met with Csaba Körösi, the President of the seventy-seventh United Nations General Assembly, together with Aida Kasymalieva, the Permanent Representative of the Kyrgyz Republic to the United Nations. Butler informed the dignitaries about the inclusive co-curricular SEL model developed at UVU, the UIMF's activities on mountain advocacy in 2022, and the coalition's plans to participate at sixty-seventh session of the Commission on the Status of Women 67 (CSW67).

In addition, the dignitaries and Butler discussed plans for a joint campaign to be led by students to advocate for mountain women and girls through SEL during the upcoming CSW67.

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News by Alitha Thompson, President, UIMF

Photo by Alexander G. Jessop

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