South Orange Village President Tells SHU Students It Is Time for Change

Village President Alex Torpey delivered the keynote speech at Seton Hall's annual Model United Nations conference Credits: Courtesy Alex Torpey

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – Village President Alex Torpey told Seton Hall University students that they need to help change the face of the world’s political discourse at the annual Model United Nations conference.

At his keynote address Feb. 22, Torpey reflected on a recent trip to Rwanda to highlight problems he sees with modern governance, telling attendees that they are the ones with the power to make a difference.

“It was one of those moments that brings you an incredible amount of clarity and instantly puts something that maybe you took for granted, maybe you took as status quo, and it puts all of that into perspective in less than the span of a second,” he said.  “And it makes you revisit all the assumptions about something.  And for me, those assumptions were how do people organize in communities to make decisions on behalf of these communities.”

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The world’s political leaders and practices are not ones that fix problems, but create unnecessary ones for the global population, according to Torpey.

“I don’t feel particularly confident that the political leadership, the same political leadership, the same political system, the same party obligations, the same interests that got us into those crises are going to be the ones to get us out,” he said to the attendees. “I don’t think it’s going to be them. I think it’s going to be you.”

He left concluded by saying that it is up to the current generation to shape the future of world government in a changing political climate.

“You don’t need approval to get out there and get your message out,” he said.  “You don’t need the kind of money that you used to need to run a totally incredible, inspiring, engaging political campaign. Even from 10 years ago, that has changed so much; the tools, the technology, the powers.  And we need to use that not just to empower our generation, but to empower our world. So what are we waiting for?”

Torpey said he thought it was great talking to be people who cared as much about their government as he does.

“(I) love being surrounded by young people equally nerdy about government,” he wrote on his Facebook profile after the event.

The reporter is a student participating in hyperlocal journalism partnership between The Alternative Press and Seton Hall University's Department of Communication & The Arts.


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