Kyle’s Summer Plans

By: Kyle Villemain

Hello everyone!

This is my first stab at blogging. Well in reality my second attempt as I had a short-lived attempt in high school to start a political blog. By short-lived I mean I created a free website, created a name that was witty and meaningful and then never posted a blog of any kind. So suffice it to say this is my first real blog.

I thought it was fitting to start with an introspective look at the summer ahead. As I finish up finals, however, I find my ability for introspection is a little stunted. This past year has been a whirlwind, and I’ve grown tremendously since I started my junior year. The person I was in the fall is markedly different from who I am now. I’m incredibly excited to continue the journey this summer and am really fortunate in that the Scholarship is allowing me to do things I could not otherwise do. All that’s left is to clear a last final.

This summer I’ll be doing two big things. The first is student government-y. It’s going to be a busy summer with a lot of preparation and learning for the year ahead. I’m excited to start lobbying in Raleigh, building some relationships and getting to know lawmakers. UNC’s at an incredibly crucial juncture, as many in Raleigh are beginning to doubt the merit of need-based aid and are discussing the elimination of our commitment to meet one hundred percent of demonstrated need. That would be an awful step back for UNC and for the system as a whole. I’m excited to do my part to help prevent that from happening.

Later in the summer, I’ll be getting to travel, courtesy of the Scholarship. I have two big trips planned, the first to Geneva in late July. I’ll be in Geneva conducting interviews for a narrative history of UN Water, an organizing entity that works with various international and UN organizations to coordinate water and sanitation efforts worldwide. The writing may also take me to New York, as many of the key actors are based out of either Geneva or New York.

Then at the very end of summer, late August, I’ll be going to Stockholm for World Water Week. I’ll be going with Jamie Bartram and Felix Dodds who are both British. So naturally my main goal for this summer is to perfect my British accent. Which for those who know me, that’s quite the task ahead of me.

Provided I can nail down the accent, I’ll be organizing three big events in Stockholm, all following up on the 2014 Nexus Conference at UNC. It’s all looking at how Water, Energy, Food and Climate overlap and integrate and how we need to act in the years ahead to manage the tradeoffs and opportunities that are going to arise.

More to come as the year wraps up,