Monday, Apr 21, 2014 03:05 am est

Benjamin Jance: the facilitator

Posted on December 13, 2012 | by Alistair Blacklock

Live Blog
Soon after NYU Abu Dhabi sophomore Benjamin Jance IV arrived in the United Arab Emirates to begin his university studies, he discovered an overwhelming sense of community.

Equipped with a strong sense of idealism, a desire to bring peo

real viagra uk

ple together and a brilliant smile, Jance looks for ways to implement grassroots solutions to local and global issues. With positivity and conviction to win over the most cynical and pessimistic of critics, he has strived to establish an atmosphere of symbiotic encouragement and respect.

A typical day for Jance is busy. At any given moment, he could be meeting with members of student government, planning the next event for his environmentally focused group Ecoherence, or setting up the stage for an open mic night. You may find Benjamin interning with the United Nations Environment Programme, working as a Peer Ambassador on NYUAD Candidate Weekends or singing with his band 10th of December. He also go-karts recreationally.

“In the limited free time he has, he supports his classmates by attending events they have organized and are hosting, or in which they are participating,” said Renee Dugan, acting assistant dean of Campus Life at NYUAD.

That any full-time student could manage to juggle such a heavy and varied schedule seems to defy linear time. But despite this seemingly sleepless combination of extra-curriculars and community activities, Jance radiates energy and enthusiasm.

“My motto is people before programs,” he said. “We can accomplish so much more by focusing on [the] needs of who we’re working with.”

Fueling his energy — and intimidatingly packed schedule — is a passion for making meaningful, sustainable change in the world and a drive to empower those around him to do the same. This is what brought Jance to create the first-ever Global Issues Network conference at NYUAD.

An offshoot of similar conferences, this event brings young people together to facilitate provocative discussion and sowing ideas and meaningful action plans from grassroots-based youth. It is scheduled to take place in January 2013 with 80 delegates from “every continent, except Antarctica.” Not bad for someone with so little free time.

And yes, he does go to class. Jance studies political science, with a multidisciplinary concentration in environmental studies. He dreams big.

“In many ways, [Global Issues Network 2013] is more than just a conference,” he said. “It’s a blueprint that can be taken to schools around the world to give thousands of other students the chance to implement their ideas.”

Yet he grounds himself in the people who surround him, pushing all else aside for a good conversation or discussion.

“There’s so much to be learned from individual people, I don’t see any other way to work,” he said.

A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, Dec. 13th print edition. Alistair Blacklock is a contributing writer. Email him at influential@nyunews.com.

Comments

CLOSE [x]
CLOSE [x]
CLOSE [x]
Tatiana Baez

Assistant Managing Editor | A CAS junior, Tatiana is studying journalism, environmental science and politics. She’s a bomb editor, as well as the staff’s main source of entertainment because she sings along to every song after 12 a.m. She also writes about culture, science, technology and sex, and her work has been featured in VICE, Motherboard, Elite Daily, amNewYork and others. She enjoys eating Thai food, reading fiction and binge-watching Netflix.

And in case you were wondering how great she really is — “I just can’t get enough of Tatiana” is a direct quote from her EIC at WSN only moments ago.

AS
Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.

 

DY
Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

CLOSE [x]
  • How to join:

    The Washington Square News holds open weekly budget meetings at its office located at 838 Broadway every Sunday. All are welcome to attend, no matter your background in journalism, writing, or reporting. Specific times for meetings by desk are listed below. If you wish to talk to an editor before you attend, feel free to check out the Staff page.

    NEWS FEATURES MULTIMEDIA SPORTS ARTS OPINION
    5 P.M. 6 P.M. 6 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 7 P.M.

    Applying for an editor position: Applications for editor positions during the fall or spring semesters are available twice each academic year and can be found here when posted. Applications for the Fall 2012 semester are closed, but check back for Spring 2013. Those who wish to apply are urged to publish pieces in the newspaper and contact current editors for shadowing.

    History of the Washington Square News:

    The Washington Square News is the official daily student newspaper of New York University and serves the NYU, Greenwich Village, and East Village communities. Founded as an independent newspaper in 1973, the WSN allows its undergraduate writers and photographers to cover campus and city news and continues to grow its strong body of award-winning journalists and photographers.

  • The WSN has a circulation of about 60,000 and can be found in over a hundred purple bins distributed throughout campus. It is published Monday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters and online on Friday, with additional special issues published in the summer. The newspaper recently revamped its website during the Fall 2012 semester.

    Like few campus newspapers in the country, the paper is editorially and financially independent from the university and is solely responsible for selling advertisements to fund its production. The WSN, including its senior staff, is run solely by current undergraduate students and the business-division is largely student-operated as well.

    A Board of Directors comprised of alumni, NYU professors and working news media professionals serves as advisors to the paper. Board members have no control in the WSN's editorial policy or newsroom operations. Alumni of the newspaper are established and leading journalists in such news organizations as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NBC news, ABC news, Fox News, and USA Today.

    Next