Peter Fourlaris: “What program and year are you in?”
Kelsea Gillespie: “I’m in the Bachelor of Arts program, pursuing a degree in English with a double minor in political science and history. I’m in my 3rd year now.”
PF: “You are the President of the Model United Nations Club at Concordia. Tell the reader about the Model UN”
KG: “The Model United Nations Club here at Concordia is a club that’s based around the conferences we attend. Each semester and every year we educate our new members about the United Nations, the role the United Nations plays, and the international political world in general. We usually focus on one specific topic for our regional conference, that’s kind of the purpose of the club is attending the regional conference every year. This year the conference was on human trafficking. They’ve also done conferences with incredibly interesting topics and which are very relevant to what is going on in the world today. The students get together in delegations, in groups of two or three and prepare for the topic at hand. You represent a country, so I have taken the role of Haiti and Jordan, as well as Canada before, and really, when you go to these conferences your biggest goal is to accurately reflect what that country would do in the United Nations. It’s very exciting; it’s one of the only ways you can get a hands on experience at being a diplomat without actually blindly pursuing it. It’s always exciting how there is public speaking, debating, negotiating, and sometimes fights here and there. It gives you a really good sense about how the world works and diplomatic ties between countries, particularily bilateral relations that might be occurring that you might not have been aware of before. We also travel; I have been to a conference in South Korea in 2013, and Rome in 2014. So next year our club will be pursuing an international conference as well, they are on a much larger scale, rather than one hundred delegates, there might be one thousand delegates.”
PF: “You also write the travel section here at The Bolt (and will be story editor next year), what inspired you to write about travel?
KG: “This is a bit of an interesting story because last year my boyfriend and I were planning on taking a trip purely because we love to travel and we wanted to see the Middle East. We wanted to get passes from The Bolt to see if we could get into some of these conflict zones. As we were planning, situations had gotten a little bit tricky and there was no way we could feasibly go into any of these countries and come out unscathed. We decided to travel to Spain and Portugal instead, Spain largely because of my boyfriend’s love of Ernest Hemmingway, and Portugal because of the close proximity. I actually ended up enjoying Portugal a lot more than Spain, which was unexpected. Besides that trip, I have been to Greece and Turkey, New York, and Orlando. I’ve also lived abroad before, and like I mentioned, I’ve been to South Korea and Rome, so I felt that I have had enough traveling experience to give people practical advice. There were many bumps along the way in this summer’s trip and I’ve had a lot of fun writing about those.”
PF: “What is the best trip you have ever been on”?
KG: “That’s so hard! I would probably say our trip this summer to Spain and Portugal, just because I learned so much, not only about myself, but also about others around me and travel in general. Other than that, I would say South Korea just because it was a surreal experience and because I was so sleep deprived that everything I remember about that trip has a haze to it. It was one of those experiences that really changed my life.”
PF: “What is your dream vacation spot?”
KG: “This is tough because I don’t know if there is one. When I look at traveling, I don’t necessarily look at is as a vacation, so I guess in the future I really have a hankering for South America, but I also would really like to visit India and Nepal, then eventually I’d like to visit Africa. I guess if I were ever going to take a vacation I’d go back to Europe to see Ireland.”
PF: “What is your favorite hobby away from school?”
KG: “That’s tough, most of my life revolves around school! In high school it used to be dance, because I had danced for my whole life. Now I actually instruct dance, so it’s less of a hobby and more of a job.”
PF: “What is your favorite movie?”
KG: “I’m a self-proclaimed Harry Potter nerd, every year on September 1st I regret that the Hogwarts Express is leaving without me! But there is eight movies, and I can’t really narrow it down.
PF: “What advice do you have for students in their first year?”
KG: “Get involved, and don’t be afraid of getting involved in school. I believe that my extra curricular activities have enriched my experience so much that I honestly would not have gotten the same educational value from my time here at Concordia if I did not participate in those things. And don’t be afraid to throw yourself in there, I remember my first year running for the arts rep at the CSA I was so afraid to put posters with my face on it, because people might know who I am. Never be afraid of that, always throw yourself a little bit outside of your comfort zone because that’s what gives you a great university experience.”
Thank you, Kelsea for an outstanding interview. It was a lot of fun to speak with you!
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