Munkhbat Munkjargal ’19 doesn't stand still for long. Outside of the classroom, he fills his time with student organizations and activities that engage people, as he puts it, in meaningful ways.
“I am very enthusiastic about participating in everything that I can,” he says. “Earlham has so many opportunities. It is a shame if you are not busy here.”
Munkjargal convenes Earlham’s Net Impact chapter and the International Student Coalition. He is working toward creating a swim club that meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and he is very active in Earlham’s Model United Nations, which he hopes to expand to compete at the Harvard MUN next year. He organized a committee of 15 students to plan the Class of 2019 Gathering for first-year students, all with the simple goal of building community.
With so many interests, his days can be long and on some days, he admits, it's hard to balance so many things. He has his reasons for pushing so hard, however. Everything he learns and experiences is something he can take home.
Munkjargal is from Mongolia, a country he describes as abundant in beauty and natural resources, but also corruption and poverty.
“If I can achieve all of this here at Earlham, then I can achieve the bigger things I hope for the future of my country,” he says. “I want to unite Mongolian youth who will improve the current system so that no one sleeps hungry in Mongolia.”
Munkjargal says while growing up he was always drawn to the talk of the elders rather than the play of the children in the next room. These family discussions often centered on politics and looked toward the bigger picture.
“My country needs a government with educated politicians, a government with checks and balances,” he says. “I am dissatisfied with the system Mongolia has.”
A pivotal moment occurred on the street in his hometown.
“I heard an infant crying,” he says. “I looked back and a mother with her infant child were sitting in the street. She was asking for money for food. They looked very thin. My heartbeat increased and I cried inside. At that moment I was convinced that I must change the current system of corrupt government to alleviate poverty and hunger. Mongolia can do better for its citizens.”
He plans to continue his education after Earlham, possibly in international law.
“In 10 years," he says, "I see myself involved with politics inspiring my generation and creating groups that are willing to make political change in Mongolia.
“When you are building community to make change, you must surround yourself with the right people, and with the right people, you can achieve everything you want.”