The International Day of Peace is celebrated worldwide

With conflicts in different parts of the world, USC students reflect on the International Day of Peace.

President Biden with UN Secretary António Guterres, an UN and USA flags on the background.

USC students think the university can do more to aid this year’s theme of “end racism, build peace.”

In New York on September 21, UN Secretary António Guterres rang bells to commemorate the International Day of Peace, with this year’s theme being “end racism, build peace.”

But at USC, the day was marked by uncertainty among students about how much progress really has been made.

“USC has done a very good job of preserving cultural diversity,” said Maya Vaughn, a student in public policy. “But for USC as a school, maybe we should also admit more ethnically diverse students.”

Temi Ojunad, who is studying nutrition, similarly believes the school should enroll more diverse students. In the fall of 2021, Black and African American students made up only 5.8 percent of USC’s student body.

“The school is already doing a great job of treating cultural diversity, with Latinx Culture Month and Black History Month every year. But there’s room for improvement,” Ojunad said.

Each year, the International Day of Peace is celebrated around the world on September 21. Proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly, this international day is dedicated to the idea of enhancing peace with the hope of 24 hours without violence.

But it is a goal, not a statement of current conditions.

Just a week before the celebration, the land conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan turned deadly.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is ongoing.

President Joe Biden denounced Putin’s war at the United Nations General Assembly and said it’s “about eliminating Ukraine’s right to exist.” The announcement by Russian President Vladimir Putin of a partial mobilization of reservists comes after a major escalation of his war in Ukraine, following battlefield setbacks that have put the Kremlin under increasing pressure to act.

Although these are international conflicts, some students believe USC can do more to promote peace.

Chentao Wei, a student majoring in analysis from China, believes that the school should promote communication between different cultures. “Chinese students most of the time only communicate with Chinese students, communication between different cultures is the only way to remove the barriers,” said Wei. “To make the phenomenon of racial discrimination disappear completely is what we should work for.”

Wei also added that: “being able to solve problems without resorting to [violence] is the only way we can do it, and no one wants a war.”

He is not the only one who resonates with the peace message.

Ojunad also hopes that “ringing the peace bell will truly bring peace.”